Wellington Scoop

Demonstration in Willis Street opposes oil drilling by OMV

Press Release – Oil Free Wellington
Why are companies still drilling for oil off the coast of Aotearoa? That’s the question being asked by climate justice group Oil Free Wellington.

Today the group gathered outside Wellington’s Majestic Centre, where oil company OMV’s New Zealand office is headquartered. They are calling out OMV, which arrived in Aotearoa last month to drill for oil in Taranaki. OMV is also planning to carry out experimental drilling for oil and gas off the coast of Canterbury.

“People might think that oil drilling came to an end in New Zealand when the government ‘banned’ it last year,” said spokesperson James Barber. “Unfortunately for the climate, it’s actually business as usual for oil companies who want to drill here. Existing drilling permits have not been cancelled – and oil drilling could even be continuing after 2050.

“Climate change is already affecting our planet and its people. The government talks tough on tackling climate change – but they’re still allowing companies to drill for polluting fossil fuels.”

OMV is an Austrian company, whose government also purports to have strong green policies while investing in fossil fuel exploration overseas. “There seems to be a global disconnect between the words and actions of governments when it comes to cracking down on the biggest sources of pollution,” said James.

“We need a massive shift towards renewable energy sources if we want to protect our world and avoid the worst effects of climate change.”

Posters designed by Oil Free Wellington and placed around the city asked people to get in touch with OMV to complain. OMV’s Wellington office can be contacted on 04-910 2500 or they can be emailed at info.nz@omv.com.

“We’re calling on everyone to get in touch with OMV’s New Zealand office and tell them we’re in a climate crisis! Tell them to keep the fossil fuels in the ground and get behind renewable energy to help protect our world,” said James.


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  1. Chris Horne, 19. July 2019, 19:07

    1. Humanity and all other species on Planet Earth face runaway global climate change and species’ extinctions, caused in substantial part by human activities such as burning finite fossil fuels. Why have OMV’s permits for marine and land prospecting not been cancelled? “Leave the oil in the soil”. What is Parliament and OMV doing to help to prevent climate catastrophe?

    2. OMV, an Austrian company, is expert in ‘green-wash’. It sponsors the translocation of rare sea birds from Rekohu/Chatham Island to Mana Island, in support of FRIENDS OF MANA ISLAND’s work on the island.

    3. Climate change has been rightly defined by Prime Minister Ardern as our ‘nuclear moment’ Well said! Parliament must urgently put that statement into effect by withdrawing all marine and land oil prospecting and drilling permits, immediately, not decades or years from now.

  2. Donald T., 19. July 2019, 22:20

    C Horne – fossil fuels aren’t finite. Fossils are being created every day deep in the oceans and deep in the forests. We are a net energy inhaler – from the sun. Get used to it.