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

 


Eight Out of Ten Want Sea Protest Move Halted

16 April 2013

Eight Out of Ten Want Sea Protest Move Halted

Eight in 10 New Zealanders think that the brakes should be put on the government’s controversial move to criminalise aspects of peaceful protests at sea.

The Bill is expected to pass its final stage in Parliament today. But, in a Horizon Research poll carried out over the weekend, 79 per cent of those asked said that the amendments to the Crown Minerals Bill, which will create new offences against protest activity in the seas around New Zealand, should be withdrawn completely or sent back to a select committee of politicians for more scrutiny and more chance for the public to have a say.

Less than three per cent said they ‘strongly agree’ that the amendments were ‘about right’ and over half of all those questioned opposed the amendment.

The new laws are being proposed after a flotilla of vessels, including several yachts and Te Whānau-ā-Apanui fishing vessel the San Pietro, peacefully confronted the Brazilian oil giant Petrobras off the East Cape in 2010. Petrobras has since ditched any plans to drill in New Zealand waters.

And over 60 per cent of National Party supporters think the amendments should be dropped or referred back to a select committee too.

Steve Abel of Greenpeace, who commissioned the polling, said:

“Simon Bridges’ dog of a Bill breaks international law, has been hammered by politicians and lawyers, and is opposed by ordinary New Zealanders.

“His fumbling and bungling to push these controversial amendments through Parliament show a total disregard of public feeling including that of many National Party voters.

“Bridges has already established himself as little more than a yes-man for foreign oil companies.

“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.”

Last week, a range of well-known New Zealand groups and individuals slammed the government’s move.

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, said that energy minister 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.”

Around 30,000 people have now added their name to the statement.

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

The amendments faced further criticism when legal advice was released last week which found “that the proposed amendments to the Crown Minerals (Permitting and Crown Land) Bill would breach international law in a number of respects.”

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.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Parliament Today:

Gordon Campbell: On Not Crying Foul, Argentina

So a couple of guys found to be criminally liable of environmental pollution in Argentina lodge an application with the Overseas Investment Office… in order to buy some prime New Zealand rural land. Seems that their factory back home had carelessly and/or intentionally discharged toxic waste into the Lujan river. Bummer... More>>

ALSO:

Urban & Rural: $303m To Merge And Modernise New Zealand’s Fire Services

Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne today announced funding of $303 million over five years to combine urban and rural fire services into one organisation from mid-2017. More>>

ALSO:

High Trust Regime: What Did The PM Tell His Lawyer About Foreign Trusts?

The Government stopped the IRD from reviewing New Zealand foreign trusts shortly after the Prime Minister’s lawyer wrote to the Revenue Minister claiming John Key had promised him the regime would not be changed. More>>

ALSO:

Road Crime: Wicked Campers Vans Classified As Objectionable

The definition of publication includes any "thing that has printed or impressed upon it, or otherwise shown upon it, 1 or more (or a combination of 1 or more) images, representations, signs, statements, or words", The Classification Office has previously classified such 'things' as billboards, t-shirts, and even a drink can. This is the first time the Classification Office has classified a vehicle. More>>

ALSO:

'When New' Repairs: Landmark EQC Settlement

The Earthquake Commission has cut a deal with 98 Canterbury homeowners that affirms the government entity's responsibility to repair earthquake-damaged property to a 'when new' state, as well as covering repairs for undamaged parts of a property and clarifying its position on cash settlement calculations. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Kiwirail’s Latest Stint In The Dogbox

The denigration of Kiwirail continues. The latest review (based on a 2014 assessment) of the options facing the company have enabled Kiwirail to be hung out to dry once again as a liability and burden on the taxpayer. More>>

ALSO:

Royal Society Report: Good Opportunities To Act Now On Climate Change

There are many actions New Zealand can and should take now to reduce the threat of climate change and transition to a low-carbon economy, a report released today by the Royal Society of New Zealand finds... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news