26 Sep 2016

Protesters oppose Todd Energy's expansion plans

7:37 pm on 26 September 2016

Armed with pots, pans, drums and even accordions, a group of noisy demonstrators staked out Todd Corporation's headquarters in Wellington protesting against the company's oil and gas exploration.

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Protesters hoped members of the public, as well as Todd Energy, would hear their message. Photo: RNZ / Mei Heron

Oil Free Wellington said the company's subsidiary Nova was seeking consent for a gas burning power plant in the Waikato, and had begun construction for another in New Plymouth.

Oil Free Wellington spokesperson James Barber said they were fighting a David and Goliath battle.

"Our message to Todd [Corporation] is if you expect to get away with this, you will not. You will face opposition. There are groups in Taranaki opposing Todd and there are groups in Wellington and around Aotearoa," he said.

Gas and oil exploration was the last thing companies should do while the world faced a climate change crisis, Mr Barber said.

"Last year our government signed on to the Paris Climate Agreement, where we said we would start taking climate change seriously. If we're going to do that, we need to leave two-thirds of the gas we've already found, in the ground.

Oil Free Wellington spokesperson James Barber.

Oil Free Wellington spokesperson James Barber. Photo: RNZ / Mei Heron

"Todd [and its] subsidiary Nova, is building power stations but it's also exploring for more."

Most of the passers-by who walked past in suits appeared bemused by all the noise, but many protesters hoped the general public, not just Todd Energy, would get their message.

Todd Energy declined to comment.