Anti-oil exploration protesters have put up banners in Wellington ahead of the National Party's Annual Conference in protest at deep sea oil drilling in a marine sanctuary.
Members of Oil Free Wellington hung banners across the City to Sea bridge in the capital that read: 'Hey Simon, Extinction is Forever' and 'Stop Deep Sea Oil'.
The protest is in response to Energy and Resources Minister Simon Bridges confirming the National Party's plans to allow oil and gas drilling in a marine sanctuary, home to the endangered Maui's dolphin.
Oil Free Wellington Spokesperson James Barber says the Government's plan to allow deep sea oil drilling could be catastrophic to the Maui's dolphin population.
"It exacerbates climate change and risks a spill, which would be devastating to the region's wildlife and coastlines," he says.
Mr Barber says they want to send a message to the National Party attending its Annual Conference that deep sea drilling has to stop and Maui's dolphins have to be protected.
"The decision to explore for oil and gas in the Maui's habitat proves once again the reckless nature of this Government's pursuit of unconventional fossil fuels and drive to put short-term profit over people and the environment," says Mr Barber.
The Government announced last week that it had opened up the marine sanctuary, including large areas off the Taranaki coast, despite the International Whaling Commission warning New Zealand it could do more to save the Maui's dolphin.