'An apology to NZ needs to come from the French president' - Kiwis pine for Rainbow Warrior

An apology from one of the French spies involved in the deadly sinking of the Rainbow Warrior has been accepted into the hearts of many New Zealanders, but others are still waiting for an apology from the French Government.

The Sunday programme has tracked down the French secret service agent who blew up the Rainbow Warrior, killing a crew member. Source: 1 NEWS

Colonel Jean Luc Kister, the man who led the dive team that sank the Greenpeace ship on July 10, 1985 in the port of Auckland, spoke exclusively to TVNZ's Sunday programme about the covert operation. 

The attack, which used two bombs and killed photographer Fernando Pereira, was designed to prevent the ship from protesting French nuclear testing at Mururoa atoll in French Polynesia.

However, for many ONE News readers Kister's apology for Mr Pereira's death came from the wrong voice.

"An apology to NZ needs to come from the French President," Graeme Walter Prestidge wrote on the ONE News Facebook page.

The French secret agent who admitted to planting the Rainbow Warrior bomb will not face extradition to New Zealand. Source: 1 NEWS

"He was a state funded terrorist. His personal apology means little without a personal apology from the French Govt to the people of New Zealand," Stephen Maire added.

Many, such as Dean Cook, considered the apology heartfelt.

"I thought he did well. It came from the heart and there are some folk in nz that should see it."

"It's an apology, and its never too late! And it wouldn't of been an easy thing to do...Good on you," Doreen Fa'avae said.

Racheal McGonigal articulately posted: "It was a personal apology from an individual directly involved. He did what he had to in the position he was in. He carried out an order from above. I don't think he agreed with it then or now. The French Government should have apologised but haven't. It is too late for the Government but I happily accept this man's apology."

But, many agreed with Michael May who said "it should be the French Government coming up with an apology to NZ".

"Sorry. Too little way too late. He's had 30 years to say sorry. Given the trail of evidence reached all the way to the top of French politics, shouldn't the President of France be doing the apologies?" Robert B Flennie said.

"This agent's apology seems to be very genuine. He was following instructions from [French President Francois Mitterrand] Miterand, who is now dead and gone; but the only apology that matters is the one we probably won't get; and that is one from the French Government for an act of war, on a country who gave up the lives of thousands of Kiwis for the freedom of France."