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Greens Call For Legal Challenge on Whaling

14 January 2000

Greens Call For Legal Challenge on Whaling

Green Party co-leader Rod Donald is backing calls by Greenpeace for the New Zealand government to lead a legal challenge over Japanese whaling in the Southern Ocean.

Mr Donald praised Prime Minister Helen Clark for instructing Foreign Affairs Minister Phil Goff to make a strong representation to his Japanese counterpart but said the government now had to look at taking the next step.

"The people of New Zealand abhor the ongoing Japanese whaling and are looking to our government to take the lead internationally to stop this slaughter," he said.

Rod Donald said disguising the Japanese whaling as scientific research was a cynical lie which treated the international community with contempt.

"The Greens strongly support the brave work of Greenpeace in ensuring this issue continues to be firmly on the international agenda and we agree that the ongoing whaling appears to be a direct violation of the United Nations Law of the Sea.

"That said, the opportunity now exists for the New Zealand government to lead the world and launch strong legal action against the Japanese programme at the highest level," said Mr Donald.

"The International Whaling Commission has repeatedly condemned the Japanese whaling programme and we believe a strong legal challenge stands a good chance of success. New Zealand and Australia have taken successful legal action before against Japan over the fishing of Southern Bluefin Tuna at the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea and we must do so again," he said.

"Helen Clark's initiative is most refreshing, however we must not rest on this issue and the Greens hope to see the government supporting our call for a legal challenge in the most appropriate international forum."

Ends

Rod Donald 025 507 183


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