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Navy Vessel Used Against Deep Sea Drilling Protesters

Posted by feww on April 15, 2011

Bloggers Down Under call it

“Gunboat Democracy”

When a government uses the military against protesters

No it wasn’t Egypt or Saudi Arabia this time, not even the tiny dictatorship of Bahrain using the military to suppress citizens freedom of speech or their right to demonstrate; it was the [allegedly] democratic government of New Zealand  sending out a task force to threaten ordinary kiwis protesting against deep sea drilling off New Zealand coast.

The united front of te Whānau ā Apanui, Greenpeace and the flotilla opposing deep sea oil drilling is holding its position in the Raukūmara Basin as the HMNZS Pūkakī arrived after eight days of surveillance by an Air force Orion. Source: Greenpeace

In an act that would make the cruelest police state dictators fume with envy,  New Zealand police and naval forces dispersed environmental activists and protesters opposed to deep sea oil drilling off New Zealand’s East Cape.

Petrobras, the Brazilian oil giant,  ignoring the wishes of indigenous Maori, was attempting to carry out seismic test in the Raukumara Basin, when their work was disrupted by environmentalists.

New Zealand govt have since served notice that any protester blocking the “oil exploration off the East Cape would face fines of up to $10,000, a year in prison, or probably both,” a blog report said.

NZ ex-banker prime minister sends military against peaceful protest

High Noon in the Raukumara Basin as the naval inshore patrol vessel HMNZS Pukaki is sent to prevent environmentalists having their say.

“Tuesday 12th April, 2011. We picked up an unexpected visitor steaming directly towards us at 20 knots – it was the Navy, with their 55m coastal patrol vessel HMNZS Pukaki.” Source:  Vanessa Atkinson

Raukumara Basin

Map: Blocks offered under the offshore Northland and Raukumara Licensing Round. Source: PetroView®

The 25,000sqkm Raukumara Basin extends about 300km north of East Cape.  Source NZ gov.

License to Pollute

Without consulting the local Maori, New Zealand government granted Petrobras a five-year permit for exploration of the Raukumara Basin, off the East Cape of New Zealand in June 2010.

Local Maori feel the pollution risk to the water and fish stocks in the regions is too great, should oil be found off the East Cape of New Zealand.

Ironically, Raukumara Basin sits between Kermadec Trench and Kermadec Ridge, and has an inherently unstable geology. FIRE-EARTH believes any oil-drilling in the exceptionally seismic area would most certainly prove disastrous for the entire region. See blog content for New Zealand earthquake forecasts.

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12 Responses to “Navy Vessel Used Against Deep Sea Drilling Protesters”

  1. Pa O'Dea said

    The sickly sweet smell of corruption.

    “Deep-sea drilling does not add up…..” October 30, 2013 at 6:49 am

    “…..This is a very important debate. And it is not a proper debate unless we bring in economics. But if you want prosperity, jobs and an economic boost provided by the energy sector, the oil industry simply is not the place to go.

    Almost 30,000 jobs could be created in areas such as the geothermal and bioenergy industries right here in our country.

    The geothermal industry alone could have export opportunities worth more than NZ$4 billion to the economy every year. And an effective transport policy package could see New Zealand becoming increasingly less reliant on foreign oil imports, saving the country more than $7b each year by 2035….”

    Simon Boxeer Head of Greenpeace Energy Campaign

    Let’s get this straight, as well as being terribly destructive to the climate and at incredible risk to the environment, the fossil fuel industry does not create jobs in anywhere near the numbers of the renewable sector.

    If it is not about jobs, and it is not about the environment, then what is it about?

    Deep down, we all know the answer.

    It is so obvious, that if is ridiculous to have to state it…

    But despite what the oil and coal company propagandists and their supporters in government have the outrageous gall to claim…

    Those who support deep sea oil drilling and coal mining, are not motivated by any humanitarian or altruistic concerns about jobs or the economy.

    The real reason of course is moral corruption, fueled by the greed, of the tiny few who stand to benefit.

    Greed and Corruption. Nothing else.

    And for the rest of us, it will be forced down our throats by our legislators, with increased state repression and use of the armed forces.

    • feww said

      High seas protest law passed

      “Parliament has passed a controversial law outlawing protests that interfere with or damage oil exploration vessels, leaving protesters liable for a fine of up to $100,000 for groups or $50,000 for an individual.

      “The new law also makes it an offence for people to get closer than 500 metres to a ship that is declared to have a ‘non-interference zone’. Entering the zone could result in a $10,000 fine.”

      This law strikes us as 100 percent pure Dodgsonian, coming right out of “Alice in Wonderland,” passed by a Mad Tea-Party, on a “golden afternoon.”
      And anyone who doesn’t like it “Off with his head!”

  2. Te2 said

    Three earthquakes hit off Gisborne so far today.
    Details from Geonet:

    Reference Number: 3612641
    NZDT: Fri, Nov 18 2011 8:51 pm
    Magnitude: 6.1
    Depth: 40 km
    Details: 220 km north-east of Gisborne

    Reference Number: 3612567
    NZDT: Fri, Nov 18 2011 5:34 pm
    Magnitude: 5.8
    Depth: 33 km
    Details: 220 km north-east of Gisborne

    Reference Number: 3612525
    NZDT: Fri, Nov 18 2011 3:43 pm
    Magnitude: 5.3
    Depth: 12 km
    Details: 200 km north-east of Gisborne

  3. feww said

    Top Secret: Earthquake Information in New Zealand

    Some of the links in the above post may have been hacked by WordPress/others.

  4. […] Source: Fire Earth blog […]

  5. feww said

    Magnitude 6.5 strikes 762 km (473 miles) NE of Auckland, New Zealand

    Date/time: Friday, October 07, 2011 at 08:58:29 UTC
    Location: 32.387°S, 178.916°W
    Depth 34.6 km (21.5 miles)
    106 km (65 miles) S of L’Esperance Rock, Kermadec Islands
    359 km (223 miles) SSW of Raoul Island, Kermadec Islands
    762 km (473 miles) NE of Auckland, New Zealand
    1136 km (705 miles) NNE of WELLINGTON, New Zealand
    Location Uncertainty: horizontal +/- 16.1 km (10.0 miles); depth +/- 5.9 km (3.7 miles)

    Source: USGS NEIC (WDCS-D)

    Event ID: usc00065x2

  6. feww said


    Date-Time: Thursday, September 15, 2011 at 07:53:12 UTC
    Location: 35.430°S, 177.878°W
    Depth: 13.4 km (8.3 miles)
    Source: USGS

    The quake struck about 630km E of Auckland GeoNet said.

    Earlier, a foreshock measuring 5.6Mw struck the region –
    Date-Time: Wednesday, September 14, 2011 at 13:36:38 UTC
    Location: 35.133°S, 179.049°W
    Depth: 40.8 km (25.4 miles)
    Source: USGS

  7. te2ataria said

    According to the US Geo Survey a magnitude 5.2 earthquake hit about 492 km (305 miles) ENE of Auckland (35.066°S, 179.756°E) last night our local time. NOT big news by any means, except that the earthquake struck inside the Raukūmara Basin, AND it wasn’t reported by our own GeoNET. last visited 3pm Monday NZ time.

    A small group of Maori activists are staging a protest at the top of the Auckland Harbour Bridge this morning. Five of them are on the top span, with a placard and Maori flag, protesting against deep sea drilling.

  8. feww said

    Giant Squid Killed by Sound?
    “We now have proof” sonar blasts can harm squid, expert says.
    A new study says low-frequency sounds from human activities can affect squid and other cephalopods, not just whales and other marine mammals, which have long been thought to be vulnerable to such pulses. (See “U.S. Navy Sonar May Harm Killer Whales, Expert Says.”)

    What Killed the Penguins?
    Anti-oil protestors assert seismic testing in the Raukumara Basin killed the penguins

    22.3m-long pygmy blue whale washed up on a NZ beach

  9. feww said

    “One year on, oil from the largest spill in U.S. history clogs wetlands, pollutes the ocean and endangers wildlife, not to mention the toll it has inflicted on the coastal economies of Florida, Mississippi, Alabama and especially Louisiana.”

  10. feww said

    “Wharekahika, Friday 15 April 2011: The flotilla opposing deep sea oil drilling were welcomed by Ngāti Porou today at Wharekahika/Hicks Bay, where the flotilla will be at anchor to avoid bad weather, facilitate crew changes and reprovision, before the boats return to the Raukūmara Basin to oppose deep sea oil exploration and drilling.”–Te-Rarawa-pledges-support/

    “We will not tolerate control of our ancestral sea areas being determined by overseas oil interests and Government forces at sea,” says Rikirangi Gage.

    “The ocean has sustained our people for generations, we have looked after the sea and the sea has looked after us. But we are already seeing changes in arrival and breeding times of moki – a fish of prime importance to our tribe – due to climate and therefore sea temperature change.”

    Updates at

  11. Tim said

    [See content. For an update visit
    Protest flotilla anchors to re-provision… at –Moderator]

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