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#SafeSource NZ - A secure way to share the truth

#SafeSource NZ - A secure way to share the truth

Blogpost by Nathan Argent - September 15, 2014

Dirty politics and a dirty environment go hand in hand. Our country’s future as a fairer, cleaner, more prosperous place is being threatened by backroom deals, corporate cronyism and a lack of transparency.

To enable you or someone you know to provide information that will expose shady corporate practices and lobbyists, put the spotlight on polluting industry practice or help hold our elected leaders to account we have set up Safesource.org.nz.

Safesource is a secure and encrypted way for people to blow the whistle anonymously and help us clean up our politics and our environment.

Greenpeace is concerned that big business's agenda to extract profit from the land and sea is being put ahead of the well-being and rights of communities and their natural environment. Bad behaviour and secret deals are not just bad in democratic principle, they're paving the way for corporates to pollute our land and sea. And we all lose out.

We saw it recently when then Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce met with Shell executives and PEPANZ (oil and gas industry) to discuss law changes to ban aspects of protesting at sea. Following this, Energy Minister Simon Bridges met with Shell execs: a meeting at which no minutes were taken, where they allegedly discussed changing New Zealand's laws to protect big oil companies. The law was changed a few weeks later.

It was a law change that came to be known as the 'Anadarko amendment', and was widely criticised by former Prime Minister Sir Geoffrey Palmer, Kiwi of the year Dame Anne Salmond, and legal experts alike as a "sledgehammer" attack on democratic freedoms. It was poor policy making and it puts our pristine oceans and coastlines at risk.

Rights were further legislated away with last year’s proposal to make drilling in our waters “non-notifiable,” meaning zero public input before exploratory drilling. Like the Anadarko Amendment, this sidestepped the proper parliamentary process and stripped the public's right to have their say on the drilling activities that will happen off their coastline. Steven Joyce admitted that he had been lobbied by the industry and that he didn't want to make the process of consultation "over burdensome" or costly for these oil companies.

These are just the deals that have come to light. We know from recent revelations there is plenty more going on behind closed doors. It's not fair to shut Kiwis out from decisions that affect our communities and the environment.

But it's not just about the cozy relationship between big business and government. It's about helping clean up industry too. In 2011 when a helicopter pilot working in the tuna fisheries came forward some damning footage of bad fishing practices. We worked with him to make it public and expose some of the worst aspects of the Pacific tuna fisheries.

So at the "end of the day" we want to help shed some light on dirty dealings, because we believe in a cleaner, more prosperous future for us all. We believe people have a right to stand up for what they care about without being attacked, called names or criminalised by those in positions of power. And we know that the majority of New Zealanders do have a conscience, and a willingness to stand up for a less polluted democracy and environment.

So if you've got some information you want to send to us, you can now do that safely and securely via www.safesource.org.nz

SafeSource uses SecureDrop, an encrypted ‘dead drop’ system that allows us to receive and protect files from anonymous sources. SecureDrop is open-source software managed and developed by Freedom of the Press Foundation. It was originally coded by the late Aaron Swartz and Kevin Poulsen. It is used by The Guardian, The Intercept, and ProPublica amongst others.

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