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Wry Welcome for Prime Minister’s Visit to His Own Electorate

Wry Welcome for Prime Minister’s Visit to His Own Electorate

Campaigners with a wide range of concerns will give the Prime Minister a wry welcome when he visits his Helensville electorate to open the new Muriwai Surf Life Saving Club today.t

West Coasters concerned about seabed mining, oil exploration and the fate of Maui’s dolphins will take their message directly to Mr Key, with a range of activities including ‘dancing dolphins’, banners and signs and a ‘flash mob’. The activities will take place at various points along the road into Muriwai where it’s expected Mr Key will pass. Groups involved include Kiwis Against Seabed Mining (KASM) and Maui’s & Hector’s Dolphins Education/Action Inc.

Campaigners say not only are current extractive industries such as gill-net fishing, and seabed mining threatening Maui’s dolphins, but they threaten our very way of life. “Coastal residents have a strong association with the sea” says Christine Rose, Chair of Maui’s and Hector’s Education/Action, “and Maui’s dolphins embody everything that’s special about our coast – lovely, wild, treasured, special in the world– and under pressure”. “We want John Key to know that our coast is not a commodity to be sold off for small profit, for ‘pieces of silver’. And that even though the issues are diverse, we’re united in our defence of these values’.

Sea bed mining threatens surf breaks and can increase coastal erosion, and seismic testing – occurring as we speak, is implicated in whale and dolphin strandings and deaths. Commercial gill netting is wiping out the critically endangered Maui’s dolphins at a rate of about five per year.

Organisers promise a good natured and civil reception for Mr Key, one which promises to be fun, creative and clear in its message. “Welcome to your electorate Mr Key” says Mrs Rose, “but we actually live here. We have a special love of this place and its little dolphins. They live here too. Please take care.”

ENDS

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