TODAY |

Climate protestors block entrances to oil company headquarters in New Plymouth

About 100 climate protestors are in a "Mexican standoff" with authorities in New Plymouth today.

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Hadyn Jones described the “Mexican standoff” between the 100 protestors and authorities. Source: Breakfast

They are surrounding entrances to the headquarters of Austrian Oil Company - OMV - for a three day climate uprising occupation led by Greenpeace. They've also formed a human chain blocking carparks to the building.

It's the latest in a series of rolling actions against OMV - the last major overseas oil company with permits to search for offshore oil and gas in Aotearoa.

Last month, 30 protestors boarded the OMV-owned Skandi Atlantic as it prepared to leave the Port of Timaru and earlier this year two Greenpeace activists climbed the exterior of Wellington's tallest building outside the Wellington headquarters of OMV.

Fair Go's Hadyn Jones was at the site this morning and told TVNZ1's Breakfast it was a relatively orderly protest, but that they were "definitely obstructive". He hadn't seen any staff attempt to enter the building, suggesting they'd been told to stay home.

Jones described a "Mexican standoff situation" with police on the scene saying protestors been asked to leave and are therefore trespassing. 

But, Jones added "they’re pretty clear and they're saying that they're staying for at least three days".

Greenpeace New Zealand Programme Director Niamh O’Flynn said in a statement yesterday, "if we stand any hope of averting a climate catastrophe we need to rid ourselves of this final villain looking for new oil and gas that we just can’t afford to burn."

Today's protest action includes activists from Greenpeace, School Strike 4 Climate, Extinction Rebellion, 350 Aotearoa, Climate Justice Taranaki and Oil Free groups throughout country.

"As we face the climate crisis, it’s great to see all these brave Kiwis prepared to come together just when the world needs them," Ms O’Flynn said.

"We want to send a clear message to OMV - we’re over it. They must acknowledge their role in heating the planet and give up their oil and gas exploration permits."