November Newsletter




Dear Campaigners,


Momentum is building around the world and each one of you is an integral part of this massive wave of resistance!

The People’s Climate March had more than 600,000 people demonstrating worldwide at the end of September. Then the very next week more than 1,000 people marched with the Waiho Papa Moana Hikoi in Auckland with one clear message, “Stop Deep Sea Drilling.” That same weekend Simon Bridge’s talk at the New Zealand Petreoleum Summit was interrupted by activists armed with banners and noisy buzzers. Less than two weeks later Lego announced it will not renew its contract with Shell.

Locally in September, Dunedin’s Flat Earth Society ironically fawned at climate skeptic’s talk at the University of Otago. Mid-October, artists spilled out creative sounds at the Expect Resistance Gig at Chicks. And so far, more than 350 have signed the divestment petition asking Dunedin City Council to divest from fossil fuel extraction. Have you?

There will be resistance this summer and the summers to come as drilling permit holders are scheduled and actively being recruited to Otago waters by our government with the 2015 Block Offer. Our oceans are not for sale. Join us at the upcoming events on 7 December at St. Claire Beach at noon for the national action Heads-in-the-Sand as we salute bums up to the government drilling down our climate and our environment, followed by Oil Free Otago’s participation in the Santa Day Parade on George Street at 3pm proudly flying the toroa and promoting bike safety as an alternative transport. Read on for more details!


Event Info: Heads in the Sand

Sunday, 7 December

St. Clair Beach 12 noon

Heads in the sand – bums to the Government

Ministers Tim Groser and Simon Bridges are off to Lima in December to attend the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. This is where countries have committed to hammer out details of emission reduction targets in the build-up to the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris.

New Zealand scientists have confirmed that last year’s drought, having cost the economy $1.3 billion, was lengthened by climate change. This is but one of the many effects of climate change that we are currently and often times unknowingly facing.

Anything less than a legally binding emissions reduction target from the New Zealand and other leading governments is a head-in-the-sand position.

Let’s make sure the government knows how we feel.  At 12 noon on 7 December at St Clair Beach, Dunedinites and others on beaches around the country, will collectively stick our heads in the sand while climate talks in Lima are happening.

We say “bums up to drilling down our climate!” in salute to our Government’s attitude to our future. There are New Zealand representatives at the climate talks who’ll be putting their heads in the sand at Miraflores beach, Lima. Kiwis unite!


“Happy Southern Christmas!” featuring cycling penguins and toroa flags galore!  Oil Free Otago is cycling with Santa as a healthy and fun alternative transport for all types – slow riders, trikes, ebikes or unicyclists. All welcome! Want to be in the parade contact


Earlier this year, a close vote by the councilors of Dunedin decided that divestment is worth considering. Currently the legislation to divest from fossil fuel extraction, tobacco, armaments, gambling and pornography is being written up. The money that will be divested should be reinvested in local economy and renewable energy. If you haven’t already, sign the petition telling DCC that we support their vote to divest and pass on to friends. This is a vote for a positive future for our city! Follow up-to-date divestment news on Facebook: Dunedin Divests.

Write to the DCC ( to express how important it is that the motion to divest be adopted!

Check out who’s already divested:

Good News


Dunedin is crowned GIGATOWN!

Fast downloads, affordable internet, possibility of new jobs, hi-tech education, a new addition to strengthen the great local economy! Oil Free Otago supports the innovation that this will bring to Dunedin!

This means download speeds of 1 GB per 8 seconds, it means many things for our everyday, but most importantly it means Oil and Gas have had their day. Deep sea drilling has no place here – Dunedin is ready for a low carbon clean energy future! New business, science and education opportunities will flock to the fastest internet in the Southern Hemisphere.

Lego dumped Shell!

Protest actions locally and globally have encouraged Lego not to renew their contract with Shell, the shameless Arctic drillers.

Oil Free Otago is pleased to have taken a small part in this victory for people power with our smallest ever protest at the Dunedin Art Gallery in August.

Expect Resistance Gig rocked Port Chalmers on 17 October at Chick’s Hotel, in solidarity with the Pacific Warriors.

The gig featured the amazing talents of Machina Rex, Diet Sav, Whiskey and the Wench, Semi Sync, Fryzz Lyfe and Fucshia Gash. Plus live poetry by Ian Loughran! It was a ripper night with proceeds donated to Oil Free Otago.

A big thanks to Bell, to the staff at Chick’s and all the performing artists who made this an event to remember.

Courageous Pacific Activists, in hand crafted canoes had earlier that day blocked the world’s busiest coal port in Newcastle Australia.

Flat Earth Society Dunedin & Climate Skeptic Bob Carter (Video)

In September Bob Carter, infamous Australian climate skeptic spoke at the University of Otago. The Flat Earth Society was there to support him in his mission. His presentation was designed to persuade that the burning of fossil fuels is not a contributing factor in the changes in the Earth’s climate.

But then again we already knew the Earth is flat! 

He stated that the high levels of CO2 in the earths atmosphere were here before when simple organisms were alive and the earth was still cooling.

A world saturated in CO2 would be lovely green and warm!

Bob insisted that the science which shows the burning of fossil fuel causes climate change was statistically faulty.

All those scientists must be really bad at maths: 1 + 1 = 3.

Bob urged that governments have a vested interest in supporting climate change research.

Precisely why the government is funding a rapid conversion to renewable energy. 

Bob confessed that all other research scientists apart from Bob himself are biased and unethical.

We love Bob Carter and we know he is right.

He reassured that the world can currently feed its people and prevention of fossil fuel use would lead to mass starvation.

Thank goodness Bob isn’t financed by the oil companies…and the Earth is Flat. 

Protesters disrupt Petroleum Conference Auckland

National government continues to support the shameful practice of oil industry conferences. The latest one in Auckland at the SkyCity convention centre, sponsored by Statoil, was where the government enticed oil companies with promises of a supportive populous, strong anti-protest laws, a Resource Management Act under review, and topped off with a low per barrel royalty rate. The message from New Zealanders to those at the conference was vastly different to what was promised by the government.

“The Waiho Papa Moana Hikoi arrive[d] in Auckland 30 September. The hikoi started at Cape Reinga four days prior and ended outside the Petroleum Summit being held at the Sky City Conference Centre. Maori from many tribal areas along the western length of Northland organised the hikoi to protest against Norwegian oil giant Statoil which has a permit to explore for deep sea oil off their coast. Their message to Statoil is: Go Home.”
Rosemary from Oil Free Otago waved the OFO toroa flag sending the message to Statoil and others that we stand shoulder to shoulder with our Northland brothers and sisters – from the top of this land to the bottom we are united.

Later on at the same conference goers on route to their evening banquet were stared down by protesters standing silently in an oily dusk vigil.

It is clear that Aotearoa needs the strong and vocal opposition from Oil Free groups more than ever to spread their message to oppose deep sea drilling and promote a cultural change to a socially just, low carbon future now.

100+ world leaders gathered in NYC. 2646 solidarity events in 162 countries. The largest climate march in history.


Want to join us?

OFO Meeting times

Tuesdays 5.30 Dunedin and Wednesdays 7.30 Blueskin Bay

For location as venues vary email:

Want to help in other ways?

  • Put Up a Sign or a Toroa Flag: make your own or get in touch, we have plenty.
  • Keep Writing: letters to the editor, opinion pieces, online comments etc. They are having an effect!
  • Donate Time: Sign up here to volunteer.
  • Donate materials: paints, sheets (singles, doubles, coloured etc) for banners, canvas, corflute etc for signs…
  • Donate Money: We’re a small voluntary group fighting against some of the biggest and richest corporations in the world. We can have an effect if we all pull together. (Account details: Oil Free Otago, Kiwibank – 38-9015-0104292-00)

Get in touch!







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