Lawless is currently on board the Greenpeace flagship in Kaikōura, from where whales regularly visit on their way to spend time in Australian waters.
“I’m challenging Australians and their Government to protect whales everywhere by stopping the risky deep sea oil drilling that is planned for the Great Australian Bight, right in the middle of critical whale habitats,” she says.
“Australia has a reputation for claiming New Zealand’s stuff. I’ll give them Pavlova, but when it comes to our whales, we’re drawing a line. We’ll do everything in our power to protect them.
“We’re pretty good at winning moral battles using peaceful protest here in New Zealand. We’ve been opposing oil exploration in our hundreds of thousands for almost a decade, and we’ve just seen our Government become one of the first to put an end to new offshore oil and gas permits.
“Now we need our Australian neighbours to crank up the pressure. Together, we could protect the Southern Seas that connect our two countries and create one of the biggest oil free blocks on the planet. An obvious first step is saving the Great Australian Bight.”
Lawless is using her social media clout to call on Australians to take action with her.
The Great Australian Bight stretches across the Southern coast of Australia and is one of the most biodiverse regions on the planet. It’s where endangered whales give birth and raise their young, where scientists recently discovered hundreds of new species, and where there is more unique diversity of life than the Great Barrier Reef.
Despite this, oil companies are planning to undertake the riskiest experimental oil drilling there that’s ever been attempted.
Greenpeace Australia and New Zealand have teamed up to save the Great Australian Bight. A cross-Tasman petition is travelling around New Zealand on board the Rainbow Warrior, and will then be taken to Australia with the ship.
After Kaikōura, the ship will visit Lyttelton, Dunedin, Stewart Island and Bluff, before heading across the Tasman.
The Rainbow Warrior is in New Zealand to celebrate the oil exploration ban and promote clean energy alternatives, as well as highlight areas of the country where oil exploration is still a reality due to pre-existing exploration and drilling permits.
Source: Greenpeace New Zealand