About 300 people have held a protest outside the Wellington headquarters of US oil giant Anadarko to oppose deep sea oil drilling.
The Texas-based company is due to start drilling a test well for oil in the Canterbury Basin, 60km offshore from Dunedin in February. It is already drilling a similar test well off the North Island's west coast.
The protesters signed a symbolic trespass notice telling the company to leave New Zealand's shores.
They say deep sea oil drilling has the potential to damage the environment and they would rather the Government invest in clean technology instead.
Organiser Fi Gibson says it is becoming an election issue. She says the Labour Party, which reiterated its pro-deep sea drilling stance on Wednesday, needs to stand up for New Zealand's clean green image.