New Rainbow Warrior to visit NZ
Executive director of Greenpeace UK John Sauven poses on the deck of the Greenpeace ship Rainbow Warrior III (Reuters)
A new "state of the art" Rainbow Warrior will visit New Zealand for the first time in January and February next year, Greenpeace says.
Greenpeace executive director Bunny McDiarmid says many New Zealanders donated to the building of the new ship, which she described as the heart and soul of Greenpeace global campaigning.
"She's been raided, rammed, shot at and bombed but the spirit of the Rainbow Warrior is as strong as ever."
The Rainbow Warrior will dock at five locations for free public tours in Auckland, Bluff, Dunedin, Wellington and Oban in Stewart Island.
At 58m long, the new Rainbow Warrior is Greenpeace's first purpose built ship, and is the third to hold the same name.
After French government agents bombed the original ship in Auckland harbour in 1985, it was sunk off Matauri Bay, Northland, developing into a reef for recreational diving.
The second Rainbow Warrior led global campaigns for over 21 years and is now used as a hospital ship for a Bangladesh charity called Friendship.