Image635477037348946097Actor Lucy Lawless speaks to the Waiho Papa Moana Hikoi before it makes its way through the CBD towards the New Zealand Petroleum Summit at the Sky City Convention Centre where the protestors stand to oppose drilling for deep sea on September 30, 2014 in Auckland, New Zealand. The Waiho Papa Moana Hikoi are fighting for clean energy instead of deep sea oil.

From NZ Herald

About 600 anti-oil drilling protesters gathered in Auckland's QEII square in the central city following a hikoi from Cape Reinga.

The crowd swelled as the protest march made its way up Queen St towards Sky City chanting "Statoil go home, leave our seas alone".

Outside the SkyCity convention centre, Greenpeace spokesman Steve Abel said Statoil couldn't continue with its drilling agenda when it faced such large levels of opposition.

"As we stand here today in our hundreds and our thousands, we are in sync with with millions of people around the world."New Zealand had a compelling history of successful protest, including French nuclear testing in the Pacific and anti-apartheid protests, he said.

"Our oceans, we don't want to see them up for grabs."We want to be the first nation where deep-sea oil drilling is banned.

Actor Lucy Lawless told the crowd that although Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce may have reassured Norwegian drilling firm Statoil "not to worry about the natives", they were there to show the firm that "the natives" did not want deep-sea oil drilling in New Zealand.

The New Zealand Petroleum Summit is partly sponsored by Norwegian company Statoil, which in November was granted a permit to test for oil in 9818.88sq km of the Northland Basin.