By Imogen Crispe
Actor Lucy Lawless and seven other Greenpeace protestors have pleaded guilty to unlawfully boarding a ship after appearing in the Auckland District Court this morning.
The group originally faced burglary charges but those were today withdrawn.
Lawless and seven activists carried out a four-day protest aboard oil drilling ship the Noble Discovery in February.
The group were arrested and charged with burglary.
The eight defendants have been granted bail and will reappear on September 14.
Outside court today Lawless said she was not sure if the impending conviction would affect her ability to travel with her job.
“I don’t believe so, but we’ll see how that plays out.
She has no regrets about her actions.
“Certainly I stand by what we did and our need to do it. Peaceful action is the only way forward."
But she is not in a hurry to do it again.
“I’ve got no plans to reprise my role on an oil rig, but I had to do what I had to do.”
Lawless says she will stand by Greenpeace.
“I believe in Greenpeace and these matters, I concur with them.
“I think we’ve started something and I’m sure my association with them will go on, I don’t know what shape that will take.”
When asked if the action was risky for her career, she replied “not as risky as doing nothing”.
Fellow Greenpeace protestor, Vivienne Hadlow, 28, who faced the same charge says the group pleaded guilty because the charge was more appropriate for what they did.
She says she would do it again if the need arose.
Hadlow also made a statement on behalf of the group.
“We hope our actions will inspire all of those people who care about helping the planet… wildlife, our ability to eat fish in the sea, and our way of life here in New Zealand… and make sure that this country and the arctic is never faced with an oil disaster.”
She says the ship the group boarded is now in Seattle and has not started drilling yet.
The other six protestors who plead guilty today were Israeli Llai Amir, 25, Jan Raoni Hammer, 30, Zachary Steven Penman, 21, Australian Shayne Panayiotis Comino, 33, Michael Ross Buchanan, 28, and Israeli Shai Sebastian Naides, 28.