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

AMA: Scoop's 'Invisible Paywall'

Operation Chrysalis: The Final Countdown - Thanks & There's Still Time To Pledge

Phew! We are now counting down the hours to the end of this crowd-funding campaign at 11pm on Sunday. Thankyou to all those Scoop readers and supporters who have pledged already. You have been awesome. But this is not over yet. More>>

 
 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

IPCA Reports: Significant Problems In Police Custody

In releasing two reports today, the Independent Police Conduct Authority has highlighted a number of significant problems with the way in which Police deal with people who are detained in Police cells. More>>

ALSO:

Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security: Inquiry Into GCSB Pacific Allegations

The complaints follow recent public allegations about GCSB activities. The complaints, and these public allegations, raise wider questions regarding the collection, retention and sharing of communications data. More>>

ALSO:

TPPA Investment Leak: "NZ Surrender To US" On Corporates Suing Governments

Professor Jane Kelsey: ‘As anticipated, the deal gives foreign investors from the TPPA countries special rights, and the power to sue the government in private offshore tribunals for massive damages if new laws, or even court decisions, significantly affected their bottom line’. More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf: The Myth Of Steven Joyce

Gordon Campbell: The myth of competence that’s been woven around Steven Joyce – the Key government’s “Minister of Everything” and “Mr Fixit” – has been disseminated from high-rises to hamlets, across the country... More>>

ALSO:

RMTU: No Public Submissions On International Government Procurement Deal

“The government is preparing to assent to the Government Procurement Agreement, a World Trade Organisation Treaty which opens up New Zealand Government contracts to foreign companies and closes the door on local businesses and their workers. However the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee is refusing to take public submissions on the decision.” More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell:
On Pacific Spying

So New Zealand spied on its friends and allies in the Pacific – and has not only been passing on the results to the NSA, but has apparently passed on the details of the Pacific’s relations with Taiwan to our other best friends, the Chinese. On the side, the Key government has also been using the security services to gauge the chances of Trade Minister Tim Groser landing the top job at the WTO... More>>

ALSO:

State Housing Transfer: Salvation Army Opts Out

The Salvation Army has decided against negotiating with Government for the transfer of Housing New Zealand stock.
More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news