MAKING WAVES: An artist’s impression of the 57-metre, $50 million Rainbow Warrior III sailing ship, which should be ready by 2011.
A new $50 million Greenpeace flagship, Rainbow Warrior III, will be powered by wind and feature the latest in green technology.
It is the first time the environmental organisation has ordered a ship built from scratch, rather than refitting an old one.
“If we can make one ourselves and use green technology, it will last a lot longer,” Greenpeace New Zealand executive director Bunny McDiarmid said.
The bill for the 57-metre-long sailing ship would be split by Greenpeace offices around the world. “It’s a substantial cost for sure, but it will be worth it.”
The original Rainbow Warrior, a converted trawler, was blown up by French agents in Auckland in 1985. Today is the 24th anniversary of the bombing. Its replacement, Rainbow Warrior II, a 52-year-old deep-sea fishing ship, was bought by Greenpeace 20 years ago. It has been used in environmental campaigns around the world.
Work on Rainbow Warrior III will start in a German shipyard next year. It is intended to be ready by 2011.
“I’d say we’ll put it straight to work,” Ms McDiarmid said.
New Zealanders had close links to the Rainbow Warrior name. “The Rainbow Warrior is synonymous with Greenpeace, particularly in this part of the world. It’s the heart of Greenpeace.”
The Greenpeace fleet is currently made up of three ships Rainbow Warrior II, Arctic Sunrise and Esperanza, which was recently campaigning against Japanese whalers in the Southern Ocean.
* The original Rainbow Warrior was bombed by French secret service agents in 1985, as it prepared to campaign against French nuclear testing in the Pacific.
* Photographer Fernando Pereira was killed and the ship damaged beyond repair.
* The ship was scuttled and sunk in Northland’s Matauri Bay, and is now a popular diving attraction.
RAINBOW WARRIOR III
* Will have 1300 square metres of sail.
* Backup will be provided by a hi-tech, diesel-electric engine producing 10 knots from just 300kW of power.
* The hull has been designed for maximum fuel conservation.
* Heat created by the generators will be reused to heat water and for engine pre-heating.
* The A-frame design mast and the positioning of the sails will be been optimised for efficiency.
* The ship will feature a helicopter landing pad, accommodate 32 people and have a cruising range of 8300 kilometres.