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The Standard

Community Service

Written By: - Date published: 8:05 am, February 9th, 2013 - 69 comments
Categories: business, capitalism, climate change, Environment, film, john key, tv, Unions, workers' rights - Tags: , , , , ,

The 7 Greenpeace activists, who occupied a Shell oil drilling ship last year, performed a service to global communities in drawing attention to the impact of the fossil fuel industry on Climate Change were sentenced this week.  So the punishment dished out by the court is a $600 fine plus 120 hours of Community Service each.  Would anyone prepared to occupy an uncomfortable perch in the open air for several days, without the usual amenities really mind performing some other Community Service as a consequence of their activism?  I’m sure they will perform their Community Service “punishment” with the same vigour, motivation and community spirit as they showed with their activism.  The fine, however, could deter many on limited incomes from participating in such activism.

As Lucy Lawless/Tapert said, the stakes are higher than any acting work she may not now get in the US as a result of having a criminal conviction.

“We set out to bring home the scientists’ message on climate change to real people, because politicians aren’t listening to the scientists, [and] their policies can only be guided by the people so we need people to understand what’s at stake here by not changing out policies on fossil fuels.”

Ms Lawless says it is imperative that we change our way of thinking.

“If we want to live we have to save the Arctic,” says Lawless.

Greenpeace senior climate campaigner Simon Boxer says the evidence supporting climate change is clear. …

“My career is nothing compared to my grandchildren’s life,” she says.

“I’d love to be able to go ‘my job is done’, but unfortunately fighting climate change is probably going to go on for all the days of my life.

“If we can hold it to two degrees we might be able to adjust, but if it goes higher than that terrible, terrible catastrophes are going to follow.”

lucy_lawless greenpeace sentencing

Curiously, in the Firstline video linked above, Lawless tried to sidestep the question about her political action, and says it’s about “life” not politics.  That kind of contradicts her above statement that politicians need to listen.

Meanwhile, others are honoured with knighthoods and other commendations*, for services that either damagde our society and/or environment, or that served elites.  To Lawless’s benefit, her husband Rob Tapert has provided a lot of on-going work in the TV and film industries, largely in Auckland for Kiwis. Some of it was supported by NZ government subsidies/rebates. To Lawless’s credit, she is attempting to give something back to the community (although it shouldn’t be forgotten that she has become wealthy and an international part of capitalist celebrity culture as a result of US productions in NZ). The local benefits from Tapert’s productions doesn’t get the same attention as Sir Peter Jackson’s films.  And, unlike Jackson’s efforts, Tapert hasn’t secured funding by attacking and smearing unions, or through getting the government to change NZ laws in the interests of a major US film studio.

And now Warners and New Line are worried that, through the OIA, the NZ public may learn exactly how they got our PM to change the law to suit their desires to film the Hobbit in NZ, at the expense of NZ taxpayers and unions.

key meets warnersThe Ombudsman has ordered the Government to release documents about the deal it struck to ensure the Hobbit movies were made in this country.

Applications for the documents under the Official Information Act were refused by ministers on the grounds they were commercially sensitive.

In late 2010 Radio NZ and NZ Council of Trade Unions president Helen Kelly sought a review of the decision and yesterday Ombudsman David McGee ruled that 18 documents, including emails between Hobbit director Sir Peter Jackson and Government officials, must be released.

Some Kiwis who receive the national honours have also done some invaluable service for the benefit of all Kiwis.  But Sir Roger Douglas?  And what of Dame Jenny Shipley, with information emerging of some of her dodgy businesses activities as a director for Mainzeal, that have been damaging to NZ?

And many others contribute to valuable and necessary community services, for which they get no public acknowledgement.

*It should be noted that some national honours are given to people who have made significant  positive contributions to the community.

[update] RNZ interview with Lucy Lawless, in which she looks forward to doing Community service.  She surmises it could be cleaning toilets at Starship Hospital, or picking up litter on Mission Bay.  She says she is all for Community Service, and thinks she will “look awesome in that orange jumpsuit”.  (Do we do the orange suits here, or is it just in the US & UK?)  Lawless also said that Port of Taranaki presented no evidence in court, in support of their claims to loss of earnings due to the protest.

69 comments on “Community Service”

  1. Tom 1

    “Meanwhile, others are honoured with knighthoods and other commendations*, for services that either damage our society and/or environment, or that served elites.”

    John Key’s intriguing selection of rugby enforcers, a butcher, failed directors, and indigenous activists who suddenly discover a liking for colonial distinctions tells us a lot about the baggage of this government and its mindset stuck in a time when when the sun never set on the British Empire.

    I have bad news for them. Singapore fell in 1942.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fall_of_Singapore

    • TheContrarian 1.1

      ‘A butcher’

      You mean the guy that has raised some millions for charity….

      what did you do today?

      • Tom 1.1.1

        It’s depressing that you advocate increased reliance on charity.

        I fail to see what relevance european medieval distinctions have in a region dominated by increased US-Chinese and Pacific engagement, from Hollywood to Bollywood.

        This morning, I engaged my critical faculties to counter your searing insight and repartee.

        • TheContrarian 1.1.1.2

          Don’t be fucking daft. I am not advocating ” increased reliance on charity”.

          I am pointing out that this mere ‘butcher’ as you put it has done wonderful things for the community. More than most. More than many. More than you and I.

          • Tom 1.1.1.2.1

            You don’t know me. I don’t know you. My comment stands.

            • TheContrarian 1.1.1.2.1.1

              Sorry Tom, you comment does not stand.

              Firstly I never advocated increased reliance charity.
              So that’s one down.

              “I fail to see what relevance european medieval distinctions have in a region dominated by increased US-Chinese and Pacific engagement, from Hollywood to Bollywood.

              This morning, I engaged my critical faculties to counter your searing insight and repartee”

              Non-sequiter. The relevance of titles isn’t under discussion – the relevance of the person receiving them is. And Peter Leitch has done great things. Not just ‘a butcher’

              • Tom

                (1) “You mean the guy that has raised some millions for charity….” implies charity is a public good. Admit it.

                (2) We are not living in medieval europe. Consult your Gilbert & Sullivan.

                (3) I was replying to your query “what did you do today?”. It follows ..

                (4) I have no beef with Peter Leitch. I do have a beef with politicians trying to cash in on his reputation.

                • TheContrarian

                  “implies charity is a public good.”

                  Yeah, charity sucks and is destructive to our communities.

                  • bad12

                    Depends does it not on whether the charitable contribution is then used for the purpose of paying reduced taxation,

                    Nothing heroic about self serving greed as far as i can see and it would in my opinion be of far greater efficacy for Governments to ensure the 7 billion dollars of taxation avoided and evaded annually by these supposed ‘business heroes’ was in fact paid into the Government coffers and such ‘charity’ would not then be necessary…

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    No, it’s not charity that sucks but the need for charity. If our society was properly set up then we wouldn’t need charity and we certainly wouldn’t be giving awards away for it.

                  • TheContrarian

                    “Depends does it not on whether the charitable contribution is then used for the purpose of paying reduced taxation,”

                    You can only claim back 1/3 of the tax you pay on charitable donations.

                    Bad12 – it is fucking stupid to suggest that anyone would use charity to claim tax back.

                    God/the Spagetti Monster gave you a brain….use it.

                    • Jackal

                      TheConformist

                      it is fucking stupid to suggest that anyone would use charity to claim tax back.

                      In the 2004-05 income year the total rebate claimed was $94 million… Obviously the Spagetti Monster didn’t give you a brain to use at all.

                    • TheContrarian

                      1) Please give me a source for your figure

                      2) Lets use our brains here. You know that dormant organ in your head? Lets put if to good use. Say I have 1 million dollars. I can either a) put it in the bank and pay tax on the interest or b) give it all to charity so I can claim 1/3 of of the tax back….which is more profitable?

                    • TheContrarian

                      Oh hey, shit for brains. I mean, hey Jackal.

                      Check this out bro – I found the ’94 Million’ source and it says some interesting things. Like:

                      “the total rebate claimed by individuals was $94 million, an amount based on reported donations of $356 million.”

                      And

                      “. If someone gives $1000 to charity, for example, they can claim back $333 at the end of the year.”

                      So yeah – using a donation to charity as a tax dodge makes no financial sense.

                      Dude, you failed.

                    • bad12

                      Yeah buy your way to a knighthood with a million bucks that you have no use for and then get the next million tax free,

                      Just another tax rort in a long line of tax rorts that allows your business heroes to not pay 7 billion dollars of their due tax every year so as the Government finds it easy to not find the money in it’s coffers to adequately fund charities…

                    • infused

                      No one gives to charity for the financial gain of getting tax back. That’s fucking retarded.

      • Fortran 1.1.2

        +100

  2. TiggerViper 2

    Great post. was just reading Gaynor’s piece about Mainzeal where he names a list of ex politicians who have been directors in failed companies.

    http://m.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10864282

    “These include: Wyatt Creech and John Luxton at Blue Chip; Sir Roger Douglas, Fran Wilde and Philip Burdon at Brierley Investments; Don Brash and John Banks at Huljich Wealth Management; Sir Douglas Graham and Bill Jeffries at Lombard; Sir William Birch at Viking Pacific (now Vetilot) and Ruth Richardson at Dairy Brands and Syft Technologies.”

    • Tom 2.1

      There is an argument that the stigma of bankruptcy discourages innovation and getting back on your feet. The comparison often made is between US and UK corporate environments, but I think you have to judge every case on its merits.

      If you wish to create jobs which are not government-funded you need people and entities willing to take risks, which sometimes fail. This does not excuse malfeasance .. or rewarding political mates with titles.

      • bad12 2.1.1

        Yawn, not the ‘we need foreign investment in NZ’ speech again perlease, all foreign investment does when brought into NZ under the present regime is to replace the capital in companies that have already been operating in New Zealand for quite some time,

        That capital contained within the shareholding of any particular company is as often as not borrowed from an overseas bank and the replacement capital from foreign sources used to buy such companies is often sourced from the banking industry,

        What new innovations can you list that has been brought into these companies from this foreign investment???,

        The capital freed up from such companies bought out by foreign investment has not tended to start any new companies of any significance so calling for more foreign investment is simply the bullshit of a succession of do nothing Governments to attempt to gloss over the fact that they haven’t got a clue…

    • David H 2.2

      And I’ll bet you that not one of them lost a cent in the crashes they oversaw.

  3. Jenny 3

    That Lucy Lawless and others like her are doing a “Community Service” is undoubtable. That this community service will go unrecognised and even punished by the state to a disproportionate degree can not be doubted either.

    This is why:

    In a statement, Shell Todd Oil Services general manager Rob Jager said the company had always supported police’s response to the incident.

    “That extended to supporting the police’s case for reparation.

    NZ Herald

    Public lobbying from the oil company of the Police, for their over the top action, in trying to intimidate the protesters with “excessive” “unjustified” and disproportionate, to the ‘crime’, damages.

    The hugely disproportionate damages sought by the police for on the face of it minor trespass charges, is a political decision, clearly more in line with the interests of the oil company than with natural justice.

    That the decision to seek such extraordinary punitive damages was taken by the police points to an increasing politicisation of our police force.

    Luckily this politicisation has not extended to the judiciary, and the police have failed with their campaign of intimidation in court.

    But will the police in the heeding of the oil company, now turn to more open and direct forms of “excessive” and “unjustified” intimidation of environmental protesters outside of court?

    The next time the oil companies take measures to destroy the biosphere for personal gain, and citizens take it on themselves to peacefully impede them. Will the police acting from political motives in line with the wishes of the polluters respond disproportionately?

    Those who made this decision need to be questioned.

    Because going on their record in court, the chances are very high, that these same police commanders will be ordering over the top actions against any future such peaceful protests.

    In this event, I don’t think we will seeing any such outrageous public statements similar to the one from the oil company we saw yesterday.

    In a statement, Hell Toad Oil Services general manager Job Rager said the company had always supported police’s response to the incident.

    “That extended to supporting the police’s case for retribution.

    HZ Nerald

    The point of the above comment is to reveal that extreme and dirty tactics will be used by the police to protect what Naomi Klein et al have called a “rogue industry and its lobby”.

    http://thephoenix.com/Boston/news/148879-id-rather-fight-like-hell-naomi-kleins-fierce/?page=1#TOPCONTENT

    The public statement of support for the police’s extreme demands for reparation against protesters trying to protect the Arctic. Is a rare example of public lobbying, of the forces of the state by an oil company.

    Most of this lobbying of the police and the state is usually done behind closed doors.

    The oil companies’ have a huge and well funded lobbying machine that puts out feelers, to government, to political parties, the civil service, and yes even the police and other state forces. (witness the use of the navy against Greenpeace and Te Whanau a Apanui) Through well funded lobbying, that usually goes on behind closed doors, in private, with access generally not available to the public, the polluters are demanding that extreme measures be taken against those who dare to oppose their interests. And as we can see in this case, their demands are being answered.

    Rarely does this lobbying break out into the public arena. And despite the failure of the police’s efforts to intimidate the protesters in court, I imagine that a big thank you cheque will be finding its way to some police welfare organisation, or favourite charity, as an encouragement to keep up the good work.

    • Jenny 3.1

      The group’s lawyer, Ron Mansfield, said the claim for reparation had been “excessive and unjustified”.

      NZ Herald

      I think kudos are also due to the New Plymouth District Court that heard the case. They had to pass down some punishment, and the balance here strikes me as not unreasonable, especially when the Police were seeking $648,000 in “reparation costs”, which was clearly punitive.

      ANTHONY ROBINS

      • Jenny 3.1.1

        Personally I don’t hold the police, or navy responsible for their over the top actions against protesters trying to protect the environment. I blame the politicians.

        Our political leaders instead of dodging the issue need to make opposition to climate change a mainstream opinion.

        Vessels that enter and leave our ports demonstrably bent on destroying the natural environment should be discouraged from doing so by the authorities.

        Just as New Zealand sovereign law prevents demonstrably nuclear armed and powered vessels from leaving or entering our ports. Political parties charged with defending the environment should be advocating similar measures against climate change.

        In this case the forces of the state, (including the police), charged with upholding the law, would be acting in the interests of the people and the environment rather than the oil companies.

        Unfeasible?

        Unlikely?

        Well no

        On the 28th of June 1973, Prime Minister Norman Kirk sent our navy to protest against the testing of nuclear weapons at Mururoa. Rather than suppressing protesters, our state forces became protesters themselves.

        http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/speech/27/norman-kirk-speaking-at-the-official-farewell-to-hms-otago

        Will we ever see such leadership again?

        With the current Labour Party leadership hell bent on ignoring the issue and New Zealand’s leading environmental party down playing it, (for what ever reason). It looks to be unlikely.

        In the absence of any political leadership it is likely we will see more and bigger of these types of clashes around climate change.

    • Murray Olsen 3.2

      I ask myself how much Shell owes internationally in unpaid fines and reparations. I’d put money on it being slightly more than a Mad Butcher’s barbecue pack sells for.

  4. Afewknowthetruth 4

    The money-lender-corporation empire rewards those who loot and pollute the most.

    Bill Birch is a classic example. Riding roughshod over the interests of the local community he ‘fast-tracked’ the construction of think big projects that resulted in a currency devaluation as the budget blew to pieces. Not only that, but also ensured that natural gas reserves were consumed as possible, ensuring NZ ended up in an energy mess, and contributed inordinately to global warming.

    He probably got a back-hander from Mobil in addition to everything else for ‘services rendered’.

    As general rule, you know that anyone who receives a high recognition from the empire is a wanker of the highest order and can be looked down upon by any self-respecting person.

    • alwyn 4.1

      You are totally correct. Sir Michael Cullen was a lousy specimen of political wankistry.

      • bad12 4.1.1

        You of course being an expert in the art of sexual self fulfillment are obviously totally qualified to comment…

        • alwyn 4.1.1.1

          There, there, diddums. Perhaps you should take a pill for your dispepsia.

          • bad12 4.1.1.1.1

            What i really wish for is a better educated class of ‘wingnuts’ to debate with here at the Standard,

            Having to constantly shut my intellect down to a quarter or less of it’s normal function so as to discuss with you topics as an equal is akin to saying hello to the neighbors cat which in all reality only seeks a pat on the head,

            Befor you attempt to use words containing more then a mono-syllable in the form of Ug or a simple grunt do you think you could at least learn to spell them correctly,

            It’s Dyspepsia you f**king moron…

            • Roflcopter 4.1.1.1.1.1

              It’s “neighbours”.

              It’s “Before”.

              It’s “than” not “then”.

              You use periods at the end of a sentence, not commas.

              • Johninsg

                As well, correctly distinguish the possessive pronoun from the contraction.

              • bad12

                Correct on the last two, a total fail on neighbor…

                • Murray Olsen

                  neighbours’ cat or neighbour’s cat
                  Even if I found American spelling acceptable, it would still be wrong.

                  • bad12

                    Like i could give a big fat one what you or the other tiresome pricks think is wrong, if your sensibilities are offended by what i write or the way i write it you have the choice of skipping on by the comments…

                    • alwyn

                      You tell them tiger!
                      I’m on your side on this one.
                      When you have demonstrated the power of your awesome mind by showing that you can spell a four syllable word how can they dare to point out that you cannot spell, don’t know when to use an apostrophe, don’t know when to use a comma or a fullstop and don’t know that the pronoun “i” is written “I” you have good reason to get annoyed.
                      You are right to ignore them. Spend your future time thinking deep thoughts, ignoring the specious comments of your inferiors.

                    • bad12

                      Got a little dyspepsia today i see…

                    • alwyn

                      My God! How much more sarcastic do I have to get?

  5. Ad 5

    God I hate to say it but if Shell or anyone else popped a supergiant anywhere near New Zealand I would fall on my knees and thank everything I hold holy.

    Not that I’m against trying to change the weather. Worthy cause. Go for it, whichever qualified actor you are.

    But there is so little chance of New Zealanders ever extracting themselves out of transport oil, and so little chance of generating high value industry whose taxes can keep our social system sustained, that I would take the resulting royalty fund and bank New Zealand’s public sector future with it.

    • Is that an Ad for the oil companies Ad?
      Like royal honours, Royalty is a archaic concept because it is no more than a reward for sleeping during the robbery that big oil deems appropriate to servile hobbits.
      Leaving the rip, shit and bust path of destruction to big oil in the name of royalties is suicidal.
      No doubt this what Lucy meant by ‘life’ not reducible to ‘politics’.
      NZ can become energy self-sufficient by switching to HEP meanwhile phasing out coal and oil with biofuels on the way. A revamped national rail and coastal shipping service would help.
      All it would require is the nationalising of the means of production, distribution and exchange.
      Something the original Labour Gov’t promised to fool the restless hobbits in the 1920s.
      Hobbits awake, you have nothing to lose but your snoozes.

      • bad12 5.1.1

        Now there’s an interesting idea that roles of the tongue quite easily, Nationalize the means of production,distribution and exchange,

        i could warm to such a system…

      • just saying 5.1.2

        What do you make of this RedRattler?

        http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/feb/07/earning-belonging-labour-policy-review-jon-cruddas

        I understand that this speech is one of the first signposts ot a possible radical new direction proposed by one of two factions within British Labour. Our own Labour Party seems to watch and often follow UK Labour in policy and campaign rhetoric.

        (The other faction seems to be ‘Business as Usual -Sleepwalk to Victory – the path the NZ party is currently adopting.)

        The linked-to speech makes me uneasy in many ways.

        What do exactly you think he is getting at/ selling here?

        edit: apologies for going off-topic Karol. for some reason I thought I was in Open-Mike.

        • karol 5.1.2.1

          It’s an interesting speech that you linked to, js. Buried in there is an on topic idea, that has to do with a community serving itself, ratherthan waiting for it to be done via the centralised state:

          In the past, Labour stood for neighbourhood, mutual obligation, earned respect and common betterment. A story of pride and dignity central to our historic identity; it gave us meaning….

          Historically, Labour demanded a partnership with the state, not its own subordination to it. Municipal socialism gave new life and power to the regions of Britain and brought to prominence the fundamental role of cities.

          The institutions of the Labour movement – burial societies, unions, retail food and building societies and socialised house building – asserted that habitation was as important a consideration as improvement….

          Historically, the dispossessed peasantry built land banks to house each other, food banks to feed each other and burial societies so that their humanity was not lost in the humiliation of a pauper’s grave. We created real banks too.

          The big story of the last 30 years is that there has been a centralisation of both market and state power. The intermediate institutions and associations through which people could own and belong withered….

          But then the speech goes on to focus on “earning” and “responsibility”, which loses the sense of a grass roots, decentralised community providing its own services, without the domination of the state.

          The speech ends with this statement:

          These are the new rules of the game. To rebuild a sense of duty and responsibility so as to rebuild the country. More resilient families, communities and nations.

          UK Labour is still wanting to apply a top down solution,obeyed by dutiful citizens. Compare that with Lawless on climate change, saying that “the people” need to apply pressure and guide the politicians to serve the community and developed the policies it needs.

          • just saying 5.1.2.1.1

            Have you read “No More Throw Away People” Karol?

            It’s the theory behind the timebanking movement. This speech used some of the same rhetoric. My problem in reading the book and it’s critique of capitalism, is that the ways of rebuilding communities sharing our time, tools and other resources seems to be considered ‘the answer’, rather then useful strategies to be used in conjunction with radical change of the political system. So, wealth, power and resources are still funnelled upwards, but communities themselves, and by themselves, are supposed to pool their resources to make up for all shortfalls, while at the same time working longer hours in ever worsening conditions for less pay, or for those unable to work in the paid market, cheerfully swapping what few resources they are able to muster for reciprocal help and the odd bunch of carrots.

            That’s a cynical reading, and I find timebanking a useful tool, but I got the same kind of feeling reading the speech.

            The speech was linked to from this article in today’s Guardian about what is reported to be two options for the future direction of the UK Labour party.

            http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/feb/08/ed-miliband-obama-hollande-choice

        • Draco T Bastard 5.1.2.2

          Quoting article

          When we are spending £1.2bn on house building and 20 times that on rental payments to landlords, you know there is something very badly wrong.

          Wonder what NZ’s ratio of state housing to state subsidy of landlords looks like.

        • red rattler 5.1.2.3

          Labour’s fucked here and in the UK as nobody believes they can square the circle of capitalism and survival. Only the middle class hypnotized by the light careering up the tunnel keep zombie Labour upright.
          Labour is of significance only insofar as it gives up its hold on workers and frees them to organise to socialise the wealth accumulated by the parasites so that it we can use if for our survival and that of the planet.
          Read on.
          http://redrave.blogspot.co.nz/2013/01/nz-labour-party-changing-guard.html

    • Tiresias 5.2

      “that I would take the resulting royalty fund and bank New Zealand’s public sector future with it.” -Ad

      You mean like the way the UK banked the billions from North Sea Oil revenues and built a modern, thriving, human-resource rich, debt-free, dynamic economy and society with it?

      • Ad 5.2.1

        Like Norway and Sweden.
        And it doesn’t require the Marxist nationalist fantasy that Bad and Red seem to need.

        • bad12 5.2.1.1

          Need you humorless prick, hardly, get a sense of humor wont you…

        • Tiresias 5.2.1.2

          In the unlikely event of royalties from oil extraction flowing into New Zealand’s coffers do you think any New Zealand Government would treat them the way Nordic, strongly social-democratic nations like Norway and Sweden did, or the way the Anglo-Saxon slightly-to-the-Right-even-when-Left-Wing, capitalist-committed UK Governments did, using them in tax-giveaways to big business and the financial sector? I know what my money would be on.

          Slush, slush, suck, suck, gurgle, gurgle. There it goes.

    • Tiresias 5.3

      “if Shell or anyone else popped a supergiant anywhere near New Zealand I would fall on my knees and thank everything I hold holy. ” – Ad

      Hey Ad, do you hear all those knees being fallen on and thanks being given that BP popped a supergiant in the Gulf of Mexico?

      • Coronial Typer 5.3.1

        Texas, Louisiana, Mexico and other Gulf states have done pretty well for decades. They placed a hard bet , paid for the risk many times over. We are going to have to take risks in order for New Zealand to survive energy crises that will come. Instead we get moral lessons from Ac-Tors and we get banana: Build Anything Nowhere Near Anything. No Lamamoor, no tidal off Poutu Point, no more dams, no fracking, no oil drilling. Result we remain totally beholden to foreign oil producers. Constant protest. Thing I always admired Jeanette Fitzsimmons for: founding shareholder of NZ Windfarms. Risked her own money. lost hard. She took the risk of a payoff that would have been, no doubt with her politics, redistributed.

        We need multinationals to deliver transport energy as much as we need Australia. We are utterly dependent on attracting the world, and we will never do it on our own, without a whole lot of luck. And risk.

        • Tiresias 5.3.1.1

          I think a great many people in the Gulf states did not do so well over those decades. They had no interest in oil and no investment in it. And now they’ve take a big hit from it. Risk, as Mainzeal’s subbies have just discovered, as the workers at Fukushima discovered, has a habit of being passed from those who stood to gain from it to those who could not get out of its way.

          Yes, we can take risks to maintain our existing way of doing things – the way anyone living beyond their means has to. First by fiddling the expenses and stealing from the kid’s piggy bank, then fiddling the books borrowing from friends and relatives, lying to the bank for loans, then as the debts get bigger and as it spirals out of control taking the bigger and more blatant risks until it all inevitably falls down. Or maybe, just maybe, the pokies will at last pay out or that lotto ticket come up trumps.

          Better to find a different way of doing things while you still can.

          And I’m an original shareholder in Windflow too, and paid up on the calls. I knew it was risky – a start-up involving new technology – and that it would be years before I saw a return if ever, but I wanted to put some money where my mouth was. It’s a shame the NZ Governments, of both colours, didn’t do the same.

  6. BLiP 6

    .

    I would really like to see the communication between John Key and Sir Peter Jackson. Especially as how it might relate to the changing of New Zealand Law. I mean, its our Law, isn’t it?

    (Love ya, Lucy.)

  7. karol 7

    From Taranaki Daily news (on Stuff),a more detailed report of the Greenpeace court case.

    The headline relates to a victim impact statement heard in court, from Port Taranaki, it complained that the Greenpeace occupation of the ship may result in loss of business to Port Taranaki. Well, actually, the protesters were just drawing attention to the wider risk that Shell oil poses, not to just NZ ports, but the world. It’s Shell that’s the risk magnet. The future of the world is at stake, and Port of Taranaki ostriches have a cry about a potential loss of international trade that may lessen their profits, and scaremonger about possibleloss of local access to the beaches while they do it.

    From the article:

    But despite the light tone outside court, Port Taranaki, in its victim impact statement to the court yesterday, spelt out the trade implications caused by the repeated security breaches by Greenpeace.

    The port treated breaches seriously in the knowledge that

    security was critical to New Zealand as a trading nation, Judge Allan Roberts told the protesters lined up in front of the dock.

    At worst, the impact of the security breaches could prevent a ship from calling at the port if it was identified as a risk.

    The port was now considering building more security fences in a move to extend its secure area, the judge said.

    Residents now had access the beach, boat ramp and lee breakwater, all of which were enjoyed by a large section of the community, the judge said.

    The possibility of restrictions on accessing these facilities would have an effect on many citizens, the judge said.

    Judge Roberts rejected the request of Shell Todd Oil Services (STOS) for $648,366.15 in reparation because only one of the accused – Lawless – had the ability to pay.

    Also in the article, details of how the group broke through port security:

    It was revealed that the group, travelling in a van, used boltcutters to cut chains to a gate in a remote area at 6.35am while one of them went to the security gate at the entrance to Port Taranaki on Breakwater Rd.

    He diverted the guard’s attention by engaging him in conversation while the others broke in.

    The others, wearing red overalls and wearing climbing harnesses and helmets, spoke to the lone security officer on watch, asking to see the captain.

    When he went to convey their request, the group climbed the 53-metre drilling derrick, unfurling their protest flags.

    • alwyn 7.1

      I note your quote that the judge rejected the request for reparations because only one of the defendants had the ability to pay.
      I wonder whether this is going to carry over into cases such as the leaky homes saga. These usually involve claims against architects, builders, developers, suppliers of materials, councils etc, etc, etc.
      They almost all end up with the last person, or firm getting hit with the lot on the grounds that they are all jointly liable.
      Following the precedent the judge is setting here if you find that any ONE person cannot pay their share of a leaky homes case nobody should have to pay anything. It seems quite a reasonable argument to me.
      Quite unfair of course but who said the law is fair.

  8. Jenny 8

    The lunatics have taken over the asylum.

    We will punish you by making you do community work.

    We enjoy community work we do it all the time, this may be a punishment for you, but is not a punishment for us.

    The lunatics have taken over the asylum.

    We will punish you by making you do community work.

    We enjoy community work we do it all the time, this may be a punishment for you, but is not a punishment for us.

    The lunatics have taken over the asylum.

    With all we know about climate change and what’s happening in the Arctic, you’d think our leaders would be marshalling resources to at least slow it down. Instead, industry and governments are eyeing new opportunities to mine Arctic fossil fuels. Factoring in threats to the numerous species of Arctic creatures — including fish, seabirds, marine mammals such as whales and seals, and polar bears — makes such an approach even more incomprehensible.

    Royal Dutch Shell has been preparing to drill in the Arctic, spending $4.5 billion on operations and lease purchases. But its record shows how risky this is. First, a spill containment dome failed a routine safety test and was crushed by underwater pressure. More recently, a drilling rig, which was being towed to Seattle so Shell could avoid paying some Alaskan taxes, broke free during a storm and ran aground on an island in the Gulf of Alaska. The disastrous BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 showed how dangerous ocean drilling can be even in relatively calm waters and how bogus the claims of the industry are that it can contain or even clean up a spill.

    David Suzuki

    And yet our politicians refuse to act, leaving it up to concerned citizen activists.

    The lunatics have taken over the asylum.

    With their defeat in the courts, no doubt the police will be gearing up to smash heads.

    • Jenny 8.1

      I forgot to provide the link to the full Suzuki article detailing the destruction of the Arctic planned by Shell supported by our MPs and the Port of Taranaki, and defended by the police.

      Here it is:

      http://www.commondreams.org/view/2013/02/03-0

      Read it, for the sheer awfulness of what is being planned by Shell and defended here in NZ through the use of our state forces. And which is peacefully trying to be prevented by the activists.

  9. Matthew 9

    It is disgusting that if you are a sportsperson you get no conviction for an offence that endangered peoples lives because it might affect their ability to play overseas, but an actress convicted for taking part in an environmental protest gets no such consideration.

    • Jenny 9.1

      Indeed. The two comparative sentencing outcomes expose the political nature of this case. In particular the prosecution’s politically motivated demand on behalf of the oil companies for a conviction.

      What this shows is that the police think that trying to save the environment by peacefully impeding the oil companies plans to wreck the Arctic, is a matter to be taken very seriously. Much more so, than a drunk driver who recklessly endangered people’s lives.

      Monopoly profits it seems are much more important to the police than human life, or even the environment that cradles all life.

      The police could just as easily have agreed to diversion. As they did for the sportswoman. But they willfully and spitefully chose not to. What the police should not forget, is that they are supposed to be working for us, not the oil companies.

  10. Alan 10

    Don’t get so up yourself Lucy , No you won’t be in an orange jump suits but then you won’t be doing time either . What makes you immune to the law. It’s your right to protest , It’s not your right to break the law. Politics has nothing to do with the verdict, only the action which was yours .

    • Jenny 10.1

      Alan your abusive indignation has no moral basis. You are not indignant that the police allowed diversion to a drunk driver sports star.

      Yet you are indignant that Lucy Lawless wasn’t put in an Quantanamo type orange jumpsuit to do time for offending the oil companies.

      Come on be Alan, be honest, what is your real gripe?

      That someone had the courage to defy the authorities?

      That people will always have the courage to defy the authorities, when it is necessary, no matter what the personal cost, no matter how much repression is used.

      Is this what really unsettles you?

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