26 Nov 2019

Police build scaffold to reach oil drilling ship protestors

From Checkpoint, 5:56 pm on 26 November 2019

A protest aboard an oil drilling ship at the Port of Timaru has come to an end, with police forced to build a scaffolding tower to arrest the remaining protestors.

The Greenpeace protest began early on Sunday morning, with dozens of protesters climbing on board the Skandi Atlantic and chaining themselves to the mast, railings, or hanging off mooring lines.

The activists want to stop oil and gas company OMV from drilling three oil wells in the Great South Basin off the Otago coast and the Taranaki coast next month.

On Monday eight protesters were arrested for trespass and another six were arrested on Tuesday morning for the same offence.

Amanda Larsson of Greenpeace was watching from the port as the final protestors were taken down late on Tuesday - she spoke to our reporter Logan Church.

In a statement OMV says they were informed the local authorities have taken further action with respect to the Greenpeace protestors at the Port of Timaru.

Its spokesperson says the company respects the right to protest if the activities to not threaten health and life of people.

But they say OMV equally has a right to go about their lawful activities under permits issued by the Crown.