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Crown Minerals Bill, which will create new offences against protest activity in the seas around New Zealand, should be withdrawn completely or sent back to a select committee of politicians for more scrutiny and more chance for the public to have a say.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

'Tea Break Bill' Passes: Gordon Campbell On Bad Labour Laws And Poor Safety

By co-incidence, one of the prime dangers of the government’s new employment relations law has been underlined by the release of the death and injury statistics among workers at New Zealand ports. These are highly profitable enterprises for the port owners.

The Port of Tauranga for instance, is expecting its current full-year profit to be between $78 million and $83 million and other ports are enjoying similar boom times – but they are also highly dangerous places for the people who work on or around the port premises. At the Port of Tauranga, there have been 26 serious accidents since 2011, and two deaths. More>>

 

Parliament Today:

No Charges: Outcome Of Operation Clover Investigation

Police have completed a multi-agency investigation, Operation Clover, into the activities of a group calling themselves “The Roast Busters”. The 12 month enquiry focused on incidents involving allegations of sexual offending against a number of girls in the Waitemata Police district and wider Auckland area... More>>

ALSO:

UNICEF Report: NZ Cautioned On "Stagnating" Child Poverty

An international report by UNICEF has found that child poverty rates in New Zealand have barely changed since 2008, despite similar sized countries significantly reducing child poverty during the recent recession. More>>

ALSO:

Funding Report: Two Pathways For Transport In Auckland

Commissioned by Auckland Council, the group was asked to investigate two possible pathways for raising $300 million per year ($12 billion over 30 years) to pay for the improvements needed to help fix Auckland’s transport system. More>>

ALSO:

Pay Equity: Equal Pay Win In Court Of Appeal

CTU: The Court of Appeal has made a historic decision paving the way for a substantial equal pay claim for aged care workers. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The TPP Finishing Line, And Amazon’s Woes

If the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal wasn’t such a serious matter, this would be pretty funny… More>>

ALSO:

TV3 Video: Three Die On Roads Over Labour Weekend

The official holiday period ended at 6am Tuesday, with three deaths on the roads during the Labour Day weekend. More>>

Employment Relations Bill: Govt Strains To Get Tea Break Law Through

The Government has been left with egg on its face - failing to get its much-vaunted, but hugely unpopular, meal break law passed in the first week of its new term, Labour spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says. More>>

ALSO:

Guns: Police Association Call To Arm Police Full Time

"The new minister gave his view, that Police do not need to be armed, while standing on the forecourt of parliament. The dark irony was that the interview followed immediately after breaking news of a gunman running amok in the Canadian parliament in Ottawa..." More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news