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Crown Minerals Bill, which will create new offences against protest activity in the seas around New Zealand, should be withdrawn completely or sent back to a select committee of politicians for more scrutiny and more chance for the public to have a say.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


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines



Australia Deportations: English Relaxed On Immigration Centre Conditions

Labour's Annette King: “There have been numerous reports from inside these detention centres on just how bad conditions are... If they were being held in any other foreign jail, I imagine Mr English would be somewhat concerned. More>>


Schools: Achievement-Based Funding Would Be A Disaster

The Education Minister’s speech to the PPTA Conference raising the spectre of achievement data driving a new funding system would be disastrous, says NZEI Te Riu Roa. More>>

  • Video Out-Link - PPTA Annual Conference 2015 on Livestream (Q+A dicussion suggests funding would be directed to less successful schools.)

  • ALSO:

    ECE Report:

    Key In NY: Prime Minister Addresses United Nations

    Prime Minister John Key has addressed the United Nations General Assembly in New York, focusing on a call for action in Syria and on other conflicts, reform of the veto process and on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. More>>.


    Gordon Campbell: On The Lack Of Accountability Over Philip Smith

    In New Zealand, accountability is an exotic creature rarely glimpsed at ministerial level, or among senior management. The flight to Rio by the paedophile /murderer Philip John Smith/Traynor is no exception. More>>


    More On Corrections

    Gordon Campbell: On Putin’s Diplomatic Coup Over Syria

    There’s a simple historical precedent for what is occurring in Syria. During WWII, the Allies joined forces with a known butcher and tyrant – Joseph Stalin of the Soviet Union – in order to defeat a greater evil, Nazi Germany… More>>


    Key 'Didn't Know': Brownlee Seeks Pandas In China

    While Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee is in China pushing a taxpayer funded deal to bring two pandas to New Zealand, the country’s military look set to be hit with a pay freeze, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. More>>


    Scoop Business: GCSB Willing To Extend Cyber-Attack Programme To Local ISPs

    The Government Communications Security Bureau’s ‘Cortex’ cyber-security programme has been successful in helping identify and mitigate a series of cyber attacks since its introduction and an extension to cover local internet service providers is still on the cards... More>>


    Get More From Scoop



    Search Scoop  
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news