The new Rainbow Warrior is currently doing a tour of New Zealand. This weekend the she was in Auckland and people had chance for a free tour of the ship. I have to say that I was somewhat underwhelmed. Not by the ship itself, but by the tour.
We got there at around 9:20am, and queued up to register. This happened at around 10am, and we got a nice little badge with an albatross on it and were asked to come back at 10:45. So nearly an hour and a half after we had originally arrived, we finally got on to Rainbow Warrior III, the 3rd ship to carry this name and the first that was purpose-built for Greenpeace, the previous two being converted trawlers. She is a purpose-built motor-assisted, sailing yacht with 2 masts that was built in Germany. We started off gathered around the foremast and listened to someone from Greenpeace’s Auckland office tell us about the Rainbow Warrior’s connection with New Zealand, and NZ’s clean, green image which is now threatened by the Government inviting oil companies to drill for offshore oil around our coasts. Greenpeace is opposing this. Next, we headed into the bridge where the bosun described some of the controls and told us about their sailing operations. This was the best part of the tour, and she knew what she was talking about. From the bridge, we headed aft to the conference room, where we saw the bell from the original Rainbow Warrior, along with a video of Greenpeace’s contribution to the environment in the last 40 years. Then we got off.
For me, there was far too much propaganda and far too little about ship. In fact I’ve seen far more of the first Rainbow Warrior, despite it being half the size and in 27 metres of water in Matauri Bay. Greenpeace are rightly proud of the fact that they only take individual donations and none from Governments or companies. But by the time I’d been told that for the 5th or the 6th time, I’d got the message and didn’t need to hear it yet again. In fact the best thing about the entire morning was the yum cha meal we went for afterwards.