Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Government Bid To Criminalise Sea Protests Slammed

9 April 2013

Government Bid To Criminalise Sea Protests Slammed

Move Against International Law, Says Legal Advice

A range of well-known New Zealand groups and individuals have today slammed the government’s controversial move to criminalise aspects of peaceful protests at sea.

In a joint statement, Greenpeace, Rt Hon Geoffrey Palmer QC, Peter Williams QC, WWF, Forest and Bird, Dame Anne Salmond, Rikirangi Gage of Te Whānau-ā-Apanui, Sir Ngatata Love, the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions, George Armstrong (founder of the Peace Squadron), Amnesty International NZ, Lucy Lawless and many others, say that Simon Bridges’ “new law is a sledgehammer designed to attack peaceful protest” and is “being bundled through Parliament without proper scrutiny despite its significant constitutional, democratic and human rights implications.”

The amendments to the Crown Minerals Bill, announced by Simon Bridges on Easter Sunday, “breach international law, and attack our democratic freedoms” say the group.

New legal advice, also released today, “finds that the proposed amendments to the Crown Minerals (Permitting and Crown Land) Bill would breach international law in a number of respects.”

The Crown Minerals Bill, due to be debated in Parliament today, will create new offences against protest activity in the seas around New Zealand, up to 200 miles from shore.

Greenpeace Executive Director Bunny McDiarmid called the law, “an affront to New Zealand democracy, and to our long held right and proud tradition of peaceful protest at sea.”

“This would affect the very same people who took their boats to seas to confront nuclear ships in our harbours and sailed against French nuclear testing in the Pacific.

“The moratoriums on commercial whaling and drift-netting are further historical achievements that were only possible because of the right to sea-borne protest.

“The most risky activity in the deep-sea for our economy and way of life is not peaceful protest, it’s deep-sea oil drilling. You’d have to be some kind of knucklehead not to realise that,” said McDiarmid.

The new laws are being proposed after the departure of Brazilian oil giant Petrobras. A flotilla of protest vessels including several yachts and Te Whanau a Apanui fishing vessel the San Pietro confronted seismic testing by Petrobras off the East Cape in 2010.

The proposals include penalties up to $50,000 for an individual, up to 12 months imprisonment and up to $100,000 for a body corporate, and enable the Navy or a police officer to nominate assistants who can stop and detain a ship entering an exclusion zone, remove a person from an exclusion zone. All these parties carry next to no criminal or civil liabilities for anything that happens as a result.

--

The full text of the joint statement, plus the signatories, is below.


--

Statement on Crown Minerals Bill Amendment 2013

In defence of the right to peaceful protest at sea

This proposed new law is an assault on the honourable Kiwi values of having a say and being able to stand up for our country.

Simon Bridges’ new law is a sledgehammer designed to attack peaceful protest at sea. It is being bundled through Parliament without proper scrutiny despite its significant constitutional, democratic and human rights implications.

New Zealanders have a rich history of protesting at sea. It is a part of who we are. The boats that set sail to stop French nuclear testing led to a proud legacy that defines us, and our country.

The proposed amendments breach international law, and attack our democratic freedoms.

That’s why we, the below signed, strongly oppose Simon Bridges’ proposed amendment to the Crown Minerals Bill.

Greenpeace

George Armstrong, Founder Peace Squadron

Rt. Hon. Geoffrey Palmer QC

Peter Williams QC

Rikirangi Gage, Te Whānau-ā-Apanui

Sir Ngatata Love

Dame Anne Salmond

Jeanette Fitzsimons

Bryan Gould, Former Chancellor of Waikato University

Lucy Lawless

WWF-New Zealand

Forest and Bird

ECO

Coal Action Network Aotearoa

Coromandel Watchdog of Hauraki

Peace Movement Aotearoa

NZ Council of Trade Unions, Helen Kelly

Sustainability Council, Simon Terry

Amnesty International NZ

350.Aotearoa


ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Parliament Today:

John Key Press Conference: Ashburton Shootings, Judith Collins Inquiry

Prime Minister John Key has delayed the release of Nationals’ fiscal policy in light of this morning’s shooting at a Work and Income office in Ashburton... Key also answered questions about Judith Collins, and confirmed that independent inquiry will be held with regard to allegations made against Collins. More>>

ALSO:

Internet MANA: Georgina Beyer Rocks The Waka

“There is now, and always will be, a range of views about many issues within our movement and members are free to express them, but Georgina’s views on Kim Dotcom are not shared by the MANA Movement leadership or the vast majority of MANA members and supporters around the country” states MANA Candidate for Waiariki, Annette Sykes. More>>

ALSO:

IGIS Update: Inquiry Into Release Of NZSIS Information

The Inquiry would be conducted in private and individuals would appear before her separately over a period of more than a week. She does not intend to name those summoned to give evidence until her report is published. “I can confirm that all persons summoned will be required to appear under oath...” More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell:
On John Key’s ‘Blame It On Judith’ Strategy

Right now, Prime Minister John Key seems intent on limiting the scope of any inquiry into his government’s dealings with Cameron Slater. The declared aim is to make that inquiry solely about Judith Collins’ behavior with respect to the Serious Fraud Office. More>>

ALSO:

Maori Council Lawyers' Statement: Supreme Court Decision On Maori Water Rights

“…the Supreme Court refused to give Pouakani people what they asked for, but may have given them something much, much better instead… the Supreme Court has questioned whether the Crown owns the River at all.” More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Debate, And The Collins Accusation

Debating is a peculiar discipline in that what you say is less important than how you’re saying it. Looking poised, being articulate and staying on topic generally wins the day – and on that score, Labour leader David Cunliffe won what turned out to be a bruising encounter with Prime Minister John Key last night on TVNZ. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Winston Peters' Latest Bout Of Immigrant Bashing

It is only one poll, but rather than cannibalising each other's vote, Colin Craig and Winston Peters do seem to be managing to find the room to co-exist... Few are questioning how Peters got to this happy place, and what it says about the mood of the electorate. More>>

ALSO:

More Immigration News: First People Trafficking Charges

The first people trafficking charges in New Zealand have been brought by Immigration New Zealand (INZ)... The defendants have been charged under the Crimes Act 1961 for arranging by deception the entry of 18 Indian nationals into New Zealand. More>>

Collins 'Misinterprets Media Reports': "Too Compromised To Remain Justice Minister"

Bizarre claims by Judith Collins this morning that she had been cleared of inappropriate behaviour by the Privacy Commissioner demonstrates she is too compromised to remain Justice Minister, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news