Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Janet the 17m blue whale makes oil conference debut

Janet the 17m blue whale makes oil conference debut


Wednesday, March 28: After a whirlwind trip around the country to raise awareness about the dangers of oil and gas exploration, a 17 metre blue whale called Janet has made a special appearance at the annual oil industry conference in Wellington.

This morning, Janet and a group of marine animal friends including sharks, polar bears, and fish, paraded around the conference at Wellington’s TSB Arena to the sound of Richard Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries, before attempting to get into the arena’s main entrance.

The past three days have seen various protest tactics used at the conference by groups concerned about the impacts oil and gas exploration and extraction have on the climate, environment, and marine life.

On Monday, a 350 Aotearoa organised climate rally brought together a diverse range of voices, from faith leaders and health professionals, to scientists and grandparents. On Tuesday local group Oil Free Wellington organised a blockade of the arena doors, preventing many delegates from getting in.

Today's activities by Greenpeace provide a theatrical reminder of the impacts oil and gas exploration have on the environment. Over the past few months, Greenpeace has been travelling with Janet the Whale to meet with New Zealand communities affected by oil and gas exploration.

Greenpeace campaigner, Kate Simcock, says today Janet was at the oil conference to directly and peacefully confront the oil and gas industry about their activities.

"Most recently, the world’s largest oil exploration ship, the Amazon Warrior, has been blasting for oil off the Taranaki coast, right in the middle of a blue whale habitat and the whale’s only known feeding ground in New Zealand," she says.

"Not only are these seismic blasts highly distressing for marine life in the area, but the purpose of them is to search for the oil and gas we can’t afford to burn if we want to avoid catastrophic climate change. Science tells us we can’t burn most of the fossil fuel reserves we know about, let alone search for more."

In the last fortnight, an open letter signed by dozens of respected New Zealanders, and the personal acceptance by Prime Minister Ardern of a 45,000 strong Greenpeace petition, has signalled that the Government is seriously considering the future of oil and gas.

At day two of the conference yesterday, Minister of Energy and Resources, Megan Woods, spoke about the need to make a just transition to a renewable economy.

The people-powered movement against oil and gas exploration has been growing steadily over the past seven years.

Hundreds of thousands of people have marched, protested, petitioned and successfully lobbied their local representatives to oppose oil exploration. This has led to the biggest councils in New Zealand formally opposing the annual oil and gas exploration permit process, called the Block Offer.

And last December, a national gathering of Māori leaders came to an historic agreement to oppose all seismic testing and oil exploration in the waters of New Zealand.

Simcock says New Zealand could be a world leader on climate action and transitioning to 100% clean energy.

"Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says climate change is her generation’s nuclear free moment. In 1985, going nuclear free meant stopping the nuclear ships and standing up to the powerful US military. This year, taking action on climate change means standing up to the oil and gas industry by stopping the exploration ships," she says.

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On NZ’s Complicity In Western Sahara

If David Parker really wants to hone his crisis-managing chops on an international trade dispute that New Zealand has been making worse for years, he maybe should be turning his attention to the Western Sahara.

Some background: two NZ companies called Ravensdown and Ballance Agri-Nutrients appear to be the only independent firms in the world still willing to import phosphate from the disputed territory of the Western Sahara... More>>

 
 

Gordon Campbell: On Malaysia Exposing Our Dodgy Policies On China

Last week, we all owed a vote of thanks to Malaysian PM Mahathir Mohamad for breaking with protocol during his bilateral with Jacinda Ardern. Reportedly, Mahathir used the photo opportunity phase of the meeting to launch into matters of genuine substance. More>>

ALSO:

Withdrawls After Police Uniform Ban: Auckland Pride Remains Committed

The Auckland Pride Board remains committed to creating a space for our rainbow communities to feel safe celebrating their gender and sexual identity, despite some institutions pulling out from the Parade in recent days. More>>

ALSO:

South Korea: State Visit By Korean President Moon Jae-In

The President of the Republic of Korea Moon Jae-in will visit New Zealand from 2 to 4 December... “I am very much looking forward to welcoming President Moon to New Zealand,” said Jacinda Ardern. More>>

Health: Changes To Drinking Water Standards

David Clark said many of the changes he is making, which will take effect on 1 March 2019, are clarifications or corrections, “but there are two changes which will significantly improve the ability to test and respond to the presence of harmful bacteria such as E.coli”. More>>

ALSO:

IPCA: Police Detention "Unlawful But Reasonable"

The Independent Police Conduct Authority has found that while Police acted unlawfully in October 2017 when they detained a Queenstown man for a mental health assessment, their actions were reasonable in the circumstances. More>>

ALSO:

Joint Statement: Chile President's NZ Visit

At the invitation of the Right Honourable Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister of New Zealand, His Excellency the President of the Republic of Chile, Sebastián Piñera, undertook a State Visit to New Zealand on 19 November 2018... More>>

ALSO:

Climate Change: Top Academics Call On Government To Take Action

One hundred and fifty academics and researchers from around Aotearoa, including Dame Anne Salmond, Emeriti Professors and several Fellows of the Royal Society, have signed a strongly-worded open letter to the Government demanding bold and urgent action to tackle climate change. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels