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Crown Minerals Bill, which will create new offences against protest activity in the seas around New Zealand, should be withdrawn completely or sent back to a select committee of politicians for more scrutiny and more chance for the public to have a say.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

 

State Investments Management: Treasury Likes IRD, Not Education Or Corrections

The Inland Revenue Department has scored an 'A' in the first tranche of the Treasury's investor confidence rating for state agencies that manage significant Crown investments and assets, gaining greater autonomy as a result, while the Corrections and Education ministries gained a 'C' rating. More>>

ALSO:

Govt Goal: NZ To Be "Predator Free" By 2050

Prime Minister John Key has today announced the Government has adopted the goal of New Zealand becoming Predator Free by 2050... “That’s why we have adopted this goal. Our ambition is that by 2050 every single part of New Zealand will be completely free of rats, stoats and possums." More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The IOC’s Treatment Of Russian Sport, And Lone Wolf Terrorism

A blanket ban on Russian athletes would also have exposed the IOC to criticism that its treatment of Russia would have been marked contrast to its treatment say, of the track and field team from Kenya – a country about which the IOC has very similar doping concerns. More>>

ALSO:

Sounds Like A Plan: Auckland Council Receives Unitary Plan Recommendations

A key milestone in New Zealand planning history was reached today when the Independent Hearings Panel delivered the reports containing its recommendations on the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan. More>>

ALSO:

National Park Expansion: Forests And Coast Of Kahurangi Protected

Five parcels of high value land totalling more than 890 hectares have been formally gazetted as part of the National Park. More>>

ALSO:

PPP Go-Ahead: SkyPath Gets Unanimous Support

Auckland’s SkyPath project has been given the go-ahead to be delivered through a public private partnership, after a unanimous decision at today’s Finance and Performance Committee. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Reserve Bank, The UN Shortlist, And Trump

Can there really be there any link between the US presidential elections and yesterday’s RBNZ signals on interest rates and the NZ dollar? Well, maybe. And it would be this: the improving US economy is reportedly putting a tailwind behind the US dollar, and rendering the actions of our Reserve Bank virtually irrelevant. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On What John Key Should Be Asking Joe Biden

No doubt, US Vice-President Joe Biden will be updating Prime Minister John Key on the chances of a TPP vote taking place in the ‘ lame duck’ session of Congress that’s held between the November’s election and the inauguration of a new President in January. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news