Government delays “morally repugnant” case against Greenpeace activists
Wednesday, May 31: The Government has asked for more time to take a case against three Greenpeace activists who put themselves in the path of the world’s largest seismic oil ship, the Amazon Warrior, in April.
Greenpeace Executive Director, Dr Russel Norman, volunteer, Sara Howell, and Ashburton kite maker, Gavin Mulvay, were due to enter a plea in the Napier District Court on May 31.
Yesterday the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) requested an adjournment. Now Greenpeace is calling on the Government Department to drop the charges altogether.
“This case is morally repugnant,” says Norman.
“The Government is prosecuting climate activists and pandering to oil companies. Instead of protecting our communities and environment, the Government is wasting time and resources on taking peaceful protesters to court.”
Norman and the two other activists are the first people in New Zealand to be charged under a controversial amendment to the Crown Minerals Act, known as the “Anadarko Amendment”. It was passed in 2013 to quash protest against oil vessels at sea.
MBIE has asked for a delay in the case because it has yet to get its paperwork ready.
Norman says Greenpeace has launched a petition for the charges to be dropped.
“We’re calling on MBIE to drop the charges against us and listen to the thousands of people up and down the country who are demanding climate action,” he says.
“The Amazon Warrior is out there blasting our ocean floor in search of the very oil we can’t burn if we want a stable climate for us and our kids. Climate change is threatening everyone and everything, and it’s getting a whole lot worse.
“In New Zealand this year, we’ve seen a deluge of devastating storms, flooding, droughts and fires in the space of a few short months. Climate change is only going to make these extreme weather events more frequent and more intense.”