NIWA Chief Executive, John Morgan, expressed his disappointment and concern that trespassers had breached security and safety measures to board the Research Vessel Tangaroa.
“We understand the trespassers were protesting against NIWA’s marine research activities. NIWA’s vessels undertake a wide range of activities, including fisheries assessments, marine biodiversity, whale population and biology surveys, hydrography and ocean geology, minerals and petroleum research, physical and biological oceanography, Southern Ocean and Antarctic science, ocean climate variability, ocean acidification, and marine natural hazards research.
“This is not surprising given NIWA’s role as New Zealand’s primary marine research organisation and the fact that New Zealand is a maritime nation with 95% of its estate under water.
“We take health and safety and security extremely seriously and marine research is a dangerous operating environment.
“Whilst we are tolerant of minority views, trespassers putting themselves and others at risk is a matter for the Police to deal with.”