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Greens applaud whale sanctuary effort

4 July 2000

Greens applaud whale sanctuary effort

Green Party co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons said she was disappointed that the International Whaling Commission defeated a proposal to create a South Pacific whale sanctuary this afternoon.

However Ms Fitzsimons said New Zealanders could be proud of the efforts of Conservation Minister Sandra Lee who argued vigorously for the sanctuary.

"While the Greens are very disappointed that this proposal was defeated we are heartened to hear Ms Lee say that this is far from the end. The Green Party will continue to fully support the Minister in representing the wishes of New Zealanders on this issue."

Ms Fitzsimons said she was concerned that some nations at the IWC clearly wanted the 1986 moratorium on commercial whaling revisited.

"New Zealand has a very important role in pushing to protect whales. Over 100,000 New Zealanders recently signed a petition calling for this sanctuary and I am hopeful that sooner rather than later the merits of a South Pacific whale sanctuary will be fully realised."

Ms Fitzsimons also congratulated Greenpeace New Zealand for their petition and for their strong backing for whale preservation.

Ends

Jeanette Fitzsimons MP: 04 470 6661, 025 586 068 Jonathan Hill (press sec): 04 470 6719, 021 110 1133

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