11 Jan 2013

The New Rainbow Warrior

From Summer Nights, 7:40 pm on 11 January 2013

The new Rainbow Warrior has docked in Auckland - the site where the original ship was bombed in 1985.

Well-wishers and members of Maori hapu Ngati Whatua greeted the crew from Greenpeace ship the Rainbow Warrior 3 at Auckland Harbour on Friday.

The Rainbow Warrior 3.

The Rainbow Warrior 3.

Photo: RNZ

A powhiri welcoming crew members followed cheers from dozens of people who had come to see the landing of the latest incarnation of the ship.

Katrina Batten talks with Bunny McDiarmid, executive director and original crew member of the first boat.

The Rainbow Warrior 3 arrived in the country on Wednesday at Matauri Bay, where the original ship now lies.

The boat was sabotaged and sunk in July 1985 by explosives attached to the hull by members of the French intelligence service.

The ship had been involved in in protests over French nuclear testing in the Pacific and a Portuguese crew member, Fernando Pereira, was killed in the attack.

Agents Dominique Prieur and Alain Mafart were arrested on 24 July 1985. Both admitted charges of manslaughter and were sentenced to 10 years' jail.

The second incarnation of the Rainbow Warrior is now a coastal hospital ship in Bangladesh.

The Rainbow Warrior 3 is being used for campaigning and is on a world tour. Captain Joel Stewart says New Zealanders are very supportive of Greenpeace's efforts.

That was something that really impressed me about the people of New Zealand - that they actually not only supported Greenpeace and the Rainbow Warrior, but they also did block and did not allow nuclear warships into their country and they stayed away from nuclear energy and don't possess nuclear weapons.

Mr Stewart says the ship will be in New Zealand until the end of February before heading to Asia.