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Green Party launches best beach competition

Published: 7:03PM Saturday December 22, 2012 Source: ONE News

The Green Party is launching a competition to find out New Zealand's best-loved beach as part of a campaign to bring attention to deep sea oil drilling.

New Zealanders will soon be able to visit to vote for their favourite beach and find out whether it could be threatened by proposed deep sea oil drilling.

Green Party MP Gareth Hughes said the competition was about raising awareness to the environmental risks posed by oil drilling.

"The website's a competition for Kiwis to vote for their favourite beach, but then we're also asking them to protect the beaches they love. After all we love our beaches and we don't want to see them washing up on their shores."

Hughes claims his favourite Wellington beach - Scorching Bay - could be at risk if drilling plans, due to start by the end of next year, go ahead.

Texas-based exploration company Anadarko Petroleum has signed a three-year drilling contract with Noble Corporation for the use of the drillship Noble Bob Douglas.

The new ultra deep-water drillship, which is being built in South Korea, is expected to be launched in the fourth quarter of next year and will then head to New Zealand.

Anadarko had planned to drill in New Zealand waters this summer but those plans were cancelled.