New Zealand is heading in to dangerous waters.

On Easter Sunday our Energy Minister Simon Bridges proposed a new law that is an assault on everything I believe to be both right and honourable as a Kiwi.

In the interest of pandering to large overseas oil companies such as Anadarko who intend to come to New Zealand waters and deep sea drill for oil, Bridges intends to push through an Amendment to our Crown Minerals Bill.

What this means is that peaceful protest will be stopped on the seas. The amendment does this by putting a 500 metre exclusion zone around vessels under threat of 12 months imprisonment and a $50,000 for an individual or $100,000 for groups for nothing more than interference with the vessel. The French agents who sank the Rainbow Warrior and killed Fernando Pereira, a photographer, must be laughing their heads off. They didn’t serve much more than that for bombing the vessel while it sat in Auckland Harbour.

This is abhorrent. The 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea [which New Zealand is a party to] does not provide for a safety zone around a ship and for good reason. There are already enough international instruments in play specifically aimed at preventing collisions at sea as well as preventing violence.

This proposal will have a devastating effect on the Freedom of Expression and Protest at Sea.

For the full legal opinion on this visit:  The Opinion on Proposed Amendments to the Crown Minerals [Permitting and Crown Land] Bill. Part of what it has to say is repeated here under:

The New Zealand Bill of Rights enshrines in section 14 “the right to freedom of expression, including the freedom to seek, receive, and impart
information and opinions of any kind in any form,” and provides in section 16 for the freedom of peaceful assembly and in section 17 for the right to freedom of association. These sections reflect similar provisions in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which provides for freedom of expression, freedom of peaceful assembly and freedom of  association. There is no doubt that international law supports the right of legitimate and peaceful demonstration, protest and confrontation at sea.

The IMO has expressly recognised the right of protest at sea, in a resolution “[a]ffirming the rights and obligations relating to legitimate and peaceful forms of demonstration, protest or confrontation and noting

that there are international instruments that may be relevant to these rights and obligations.”
The International Whaling Commission has repeatedly in resolutions expressly upheld the right to legitimate and peaceful forms of protest and demonstration at sea. The writer was present at the meetings, where New Zealand took an important and active role in preserving the right to peaceful protest in the resolutions. It is worth noting that many important environmental protection initiatives arose from protests at sea, including the moratorium on commercial whaling, the ban on the dumping of nuclear waste at sea and the ban on the use of driftnets. Perhaps most importantly to New Zealanders, a cessation of atmospheric nuclear tests came after the New Zealand government itself sent two naval vessels protest – HMNZS
Canterbury and HMNZS Otago – to protest at Moruroa in 1973, and again in 1995 to protest under ground nuclear testing.
Australia also participated in the 1973 waterborne protest, sending the HMAS Supply.
New Zealanders have a long tradition of peaceful protest to protect our region. This amendment is not open to public consultation.It will NOT be vetted for breaches to our Bill of Rights.

It will be put in place just before Anadarko comes here planning to deep sea drill in our waters.

It only covers vessels such as deep sea drilling vessels.

Ordinary New Zealanders are being silenced by a money hungry government who has big corporations so far up its arse they can barely stand. In my opinion if Simon Bridges bends over any further to accommodate these oil companies he may well end up with his own head up his arse.

In 1973 a New Zealand Government who stood for something sent Naval vessels to Moruroa to protest French nuclear testing in the Pacific.

To see the complete film visit: ‘Mururoa 1973’ on NZ On Screen.
In 2010 protesters let Petrobras know what we thought about their plans for deep sea drilling in our waters and they left.
Protests at sea also stopped nuclear ships and submarines from entering our waters.New Zealanders, ordinary New Zealanders who believe in keeping our country free from these foreign pickpockets have stood tall against them and shown what a nation we can be. Independent, strong, unafraid to stand up for ourselves and what we believe in.This amendment puts all that in jeopardy.It makes me ashamed of our government.

It makes me embarrassed that Simon Bridges is not only a New Zealander but a Minister of Parliament.

Organisations are gathering though. Powerful voices are pulling together [including a former Prime Minister] to bring awareness to the New Zealand public of this amendment, and to put the government on warning.

Every second  Kiwis everywhere, and others from other nations are being added to a statement written by these well known Kiwis and New Zealand organisations as they sign in protest the following document: Defend the Right to Peaceful Protest at Sea: Reject The Anadarko Amendment.

I hope you will join with us as we fight for our right to protest peacefully against these corporations who have conned our government with the promise of a few coins for selling out our country.

A tweet or share on facebook would also be appreciated !!

My thanks in advance to you wonderful caring bloggers who always fight the good fights !!

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Author: Jo Bryant

I was born in the land of Banjo Paterson, gum trees, and weather extremes. I am a freelance writer. I live in the Bay of Plenty, New Zealand, but still like to claim my Australian heritage. I graduated with a Bachelor of Communications in 2008. I am writing my first novel. I love to write poetry, short stories, and also write for the web. And there is nothing that is on a par with a sunny summer's day spent at Waihi Beach.

41 thoughts on “New Zealand is heading in to dangerous waters.”

    1. The way things are going here lately I wouldn’t bother. Not so long as we have a government who cares more about the large corporations than it does the people it works for. Stay home…you’ll be better off.
      😦

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  1. Signed hon. This is sad indeed and you said it. They are so “money-hungry” and don’t realise they are destroying everything. It’s the same here with the mines and our “money-hungry” government … and one day they will realise that all their money won’t be able to buy food or water and all the beauty will be gone. Let’s hope it’s not too late then. 🙂 *hugs*

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    1. Thanks so much for signing. Though now it has gone in to the bill it looks as if nothing can stop it. But maybe they will at least know that people were outraged at what they did.

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        1. I wish I didn’t agree with you…but I do. Our government knew they were screwed if this didn’t go through. They need the money this will bring in. So it is F&*%K the land, the people, the future.

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          1. Yep, it’s the same here hon. They don’t realise what they are doing to nature. Seems money makes them blind to those facts. It makes me also just as the hell in.

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          2. Well I blew off some steam today at least. I told the Minister exactly what I thought…I felt better for a couple of minutes. Then I just wanted to go back and tell him in CAPITOL LETTERS.

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          3. hehehe…good for you hon! Wish I could tell our government here what I thought of them. They will put me in jail for sure! 😛

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          4. I am just worried about getting sued…I used some strong words. But I wasn’t the only one. He had lots of really negative comments so maybe it will get lost in the mix.

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    1. It makes me so mad that they snuck this in like they did…but it seems as if they have won for now. Maybe a legal challenge…who knows, but I feel like crying it is such a blow to what New Zealand is all about.
      😦
      😦

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  2. Thank you for sharing this important information, Jo! I signed up immediately and have shared on facebook. I remember Rainbow Warrior and the total state of shock we were in here in Sweden. May the force be with you and all New Zealanders – you are a strong and remarkable people, and we love you for it!

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        1. I think Kiwis will still protest. My hope is that there will be protests and a legal challenge against the amendment as it definitely is not compatible with our Bill of Rights as New Zealanders.

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    1. I wish it had done some good. Now that the amendment is in the bill…it looks like nothing can stop it now. I want to strangle Simon Bridges…had a few words for him today on his facebook page.

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      1. Am definitely feeling that NZ’s moving very quickly in a direction that I find intolerable. Question is I suppose, where would be better?

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        1. That is the problem. I will say the petition has become the fastest rising petition ever, so maybe it will give them pause for thought. My hope is that if it does pass on Tuesday then someone will mount a legal challenge at some point.

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  3. Signed and shared on FB. Sounds like your government is taking a cue from ours (which is both sad and scary). I hope this gets defeated. Peaceful protests are one of the only recourses left to those who would change the world…when they take away the right to protest peacefully, they may find they have awakened a sleeping dragon. People with nothing left to lose tend to fight a LOT harder for being backed into a corner in the name of greed and oligarchy.

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    1. Thanks. Sadly getting the amendment in to the bill itself went through last nigh by 2 votes. When the bill is passed sometime next week it will be in there and now is beginning to like a done deal. It makes me sooooooooooooo angry !

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