This bay in the north is the final resting place of the original Rainbow Warrior, the ship that was bombed in 1985 by French Secret Service in retaliation for New Zealand’s campaign for a nuclear-free Pacific.
I was on board when the bombs went off. The second explosion was so powerful, it sunk the vessel, killing my friend and colleague, Fernando Pereira.
I have never forgotten that night. And like many of us who were there, I’ve never stopped campaigning to protect the Earth for our children and grandchildren.
After the bombing, the nuclear-free movement in New Zealand grew stronger and bigger than ever. We were an unstoppable movement, and the phrase “you can’t sink a rainbow” became firmly instilled in our identity. Two years later, New Zealand became the first country in the world to declare itself nuclear-free.
This was a huge victory for people power. We showed the world that little could be big. That a small country at the bottom of the Earth could stand up to the nuclear superpowers – because it was the right thing to do.
In April, we inspired the world once more.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern listened to the hundreds of thousands of us who called on the Government to end oil exploration. She called climate change this generation’s nuclear-free moment, and she followed up those bold words with bold action.
Together, we won a ban on new offshore oil and gas exploration permits. Once again, people like you and I stood together against a powerful industry, and won.
Over the past three decades, I have seen us triumph many times in the face of adversity, from the powerful nuclear industry, to the biggest oil players on the planet.
This tour is a timely reminder that we must continue to stand up for what is right. It’s not always easy, but it’s always necessary.
For us to have a future, we know we must Make Oil History.
We made a huge step towards this reality in April. Now, to completely close the door on dirty energy, we must call for a future powered by 100% clean energy.
This Rainbow Warrior tour is both a celebration of what we have achieved, and a chance for us to look to the future we want. A New Zealand that’s powered by clean energy, and one that’s fairer for us all.
I hope you’ll get on board,
– Martini, and the whole crew at Greenpeace
PS. A beautiful new interactive documentary about the history of nuclear testing in the Pacific has just gone online here – it’s well worth a look.