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


350.org Christchurch: A Protest with a Difference

19 August 2013

350.org Christchurch: A Protest with a Difference

Motorists around Christchurch are being advised to look out for a protest with a difference this weekend.

Members of the group 350.org will be holding protest action at various petrol stations around Christchurch on Saturday and Sunday. But it’s not the petrol stations they are upset with.

“Our argument is with the Government,” said spokesperson Anthony Field. “We know that everyone needs to buy petrol for their cars – but not everyone knows how much the Government is subsidising the big oil companies.”

New Zealand supposedly moved to “free market” economics several years ago – but the Government still gives $46 million a year to big international oil and gas companies. That’s more than 20 times the cost of the recent food-in–schools announcement. The gifts take the form of tax breaks, cheap permits and assistance with exploration. The subsidy has gone up by 700% under the National Government.

“At a time when NZ is struggling to balance the books it’s madness to be giving cash to some of the most profitable corporations in the world,” said Field. “Our protest is aimed at encouraging ordinary Kiwis to contact the Energy Minister, Simon Bridges, to demand that it stops.”

“Most people in New Zealand are doing what they can to reduce their fuel use because we know that we have to take steps to limit climate change,” said Field. “So we are asking the government to support the people in their actions rather than supporting big multinationals.”

At around $46 million a year, the subsidy is a gift of about $10 from every New Zealander into the coffers of the international oil giants like Shell, BP and Anadarko. That’s $10 that could be better spent on welfare, on health, on education, on renewable energy or on conservation. ”It’s ironic that a government which thinks industry should not be subsidised then chooses to subsidise is the richest industry in the world,” said John Adams, another 350.org spokesperson.

“The Government keeps telling us that we don’t have enough money to support those people who need our help. But really we can’t afford to run two welfare systems. We can’t afford to keep supporting profitable and polluting companies from overseas.”

Members of 350.org will be handing out mock $10 notes and staging a mock presentation of a giant cheque at petrol stations around Christchurch this weekend.

More Info from:
• 350.org: http://350.org.nz/
• WWF: http://www.wwf.org.nz/media_centre/news/?10762/New-report-exposes-Government-hypocrisy-on-fossil-fuel-subsidies


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Fate Of Julian Assange

Has swapping Scott Morrison for Anthony Albanese made any discernible difference to Australia’s relations with the US, China, the Pacific and New Zealand? Not so far. For example: Albanese has asked for more time to “consider” his response to New Zealand’s long running complaints about the so called “501” deportations back to this country. Really? He needs more time to figure out a response? OK, but the clock is ticking.
The Julian Assange situation is a lot more urgent. Assange’s deportation to the United States has now been okayed by the British courts and also - crucially – by its government. At any moment, Assange could be on a plane and headed for a US prison. He is facing the prospect of 175 years in jail...


Parliament: Grounds Fully Reopened

Parliament’s grounds have been fully reopened today at a ceremony and community event with mana whenua, members of the public, and representatives of Parliament... More>>

Chris Hipkins: Statement On Charlotte Bellis

On 31 January I released a statement regarding Charlotte Bellis and her MIQ application. I stated that emergency allocation criteria includes a requirement to travel to New Zealand within the next 14 days... More>>

Government: Prime Minister To Travel To Europe And Australia

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will leave this weekend to travel to Europe and Australia for a range of trade, tourism and foreign policy events... More>>


National: Goodfellow To Retire As Party President
Peter Goodfellow today announced he will not seek re-election as President of the National Party at its Annual Conference. Mr Goodfellow will remain as a director on the board for one final term to assist in the transition... More>>

Police: Parliament Occupation Investigators Seek Public Assistance
Police investigating criminal activity on the final day of the occupation at Parliament grounds earlier this year are appealing for the public’s help to identify 15 people... More>>

World Vision: New Zealand Urged To Meet Quota As New Report Finds Hunger, Violence, And Death Rates Increase For Refugees
World Vision is calling for New Zealand to work harder to meet its refugee quota in the wake of a new report which shows that life has deteriorated significantly in the past two years for refugees in 11 hard-hit countries... More>>