29 Mar 2015

Protest swells in Auckland

7:11 pm on 29 March 2015

More than 3000 people, according to Greenpeace's estimates, have protested in central Auckland against deep sea oil drilling.

anti-drilling protesters outside SkyCity

Over 3000 people have gathered outside the convention centre. Photo: RNZ / Kim Baker Wilson

The protesters came from a number of groups, including Greenpeace and Oil Free Auckland.

Greenpeace described the protest as being even bigger and louder than last year's.

For more than half an hour, the protesters blocked Federal Street, where a petroleum industry summit is being held at SkyCity over three days.

The summit is billed as the all-encompassing oil and gas event of the year, at which the Government will reveal its block offer for 2015, as well as start consultation over oil and gas exploration in an area covering more than 450,000 square kilometres.

Greenpeace claims more than 3000 people have arrived at SkyCity Convention Centre where a summit is being held.

Almost 4,000 people said they would be attending the event on Facebook. Photo: RNZ / Kim Baker Wilson

Protesters' signs at the march.

Protesters' signs at the march. Photo: RNZ / Kim Baker Wilson

The protest was described on Facebook as speaking out against 'another glitzy oil conference in Auckland where Simon Bridges will continue his attempt to sell off our oceans to Big Oil.'

'Join us at Midday in Victoria Park to march to the conference where we'll make sure the oil industry and the Government hear loud and clear that New Zealanders do not want risky deep sea drilling in our waters.'

Protesters were asked to bring a drum, in order to 'beat [them] in unison to symbolise ... seismic blasting happening in our oceans right now.'

Protestors march in Auckland against deep-sea drilling.

Protestors march in Auckland against deep-sea drilling. Photo: RNZ / Kim Baker Wilson

Over 3,500 people had said they would be attending the event on its Facebook page.

Greenpeace campaigner Steve Abel said deep sea drilling was an unwanted industry.

He said it offered very little benefit to New Zealand, but a large amount of risk.

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