The Petroleum Exploration and Production Association of New Zealand (PEPANZ) and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) have criticized the actions of the Greenpeace activists during their protests against seismic research.
Greenpeace activists have thrown themselves into the sea in front of the Amazon Warrior seismic vessel off the New Zealand coast.
One of the activists that threw himself into the sea is the Greenpeace executive director, Dr Russel Norman.
Dr Norman is now facing charges for breaching zone restrictions around petrol-related work operations at sea.
PEPANZ chief executive Cameron Madgwick explained that the Amazon Warrior is operating about 50 kilometers off the coast of the North Island and is towing several large streamers, which stretch many kilometres behind it.
“The size of the Amazon Warrior makes it difficult for it to stop or turn quickly. That is why the vessel is operating with a 500 meter non-interference zone,” said Madgwick.
“While the actions of the protestors were not a surprise and had been planned for, the protestors put themselves into a potentially dangerous situation by placing themselves in the vessels path.
“While we absolutely respect the right of Greenpeace to protest, this sort of action is just stupid.”
The MBIE general manager James Stevenson-Wallace has urged people protesting the Amazon Warrior to be responsible, comply with the law, and avoid putting themselves and others in danger.
“People are free to protest oil and gas activity at sea, as they are on land, but they cannot disrupt a legitimate operation and create health and safety risks. The provisions are as much to protect the protestors as the crew of the Amazon Warrior,” Stevenson-Wallace said.
Stevenson-Wallace also emphasized that seismic surveys help build the scientific knowledge and understanding of New Zealand.
“The survey data also helps create a picture of the geology beneath our oceans. The information gathered is shared with the Government and in time is made freely available. It can be very useful to researchers, including GNS science, who use seismic data for fault line mapping” he added.
Subsea World News Staff