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Outrage at Key’s pro-whaling plan

Written By: - Date published: 8:42 am, March 8th, 2010 - 53 comments
Categories: Conservation, Environment - Tags: ,

Australia is aghast over New Zealand’s sudden back-flip over whaling.

Together, our two countries have been the lynch-pins in the anti-whaling lobby for decades. The ban on commercial whaling that we won reduced the number of whales killed each year from 10,000 per year in the 1980s to less than 2,000 today. The protection we won them is helping to bring species back from the brink.

Now, the Key Government has, without public consultation or mandate, thrown decades of political consensus in the trash. They are proposing the reintroduction commercial whaling. The Nats say this will reduce the number of whales killed but no-one is buying that.

Let’s be serious here. When did the commercialisation of a resource ever lead to a reduction in its use? Once the door is open, the commercial quotas will increase. The sustainability of whale populations will be overridden because money always wins (National calls it ‘balancing our economic opportunities with our environmental responsibilities’).

The reality is that National doesn’t give a damn about conservation. It is increasing fishing quotas on already over-fished stocks. It wants to rip-up our National Parks with open-cast mines. Supporting commercial whaling is just an extension of the same mindset.

Meanwhile, there’s a strange news blackout on this in New Zealand. Despite widespread coverage internationally, only Radio New Zealand has covered it (Murray McCully was awful in his interview). One has to wonder why that is. I doubt the New Zealand people would be very supportive of a government that has suddenly abandoned our country’s long standing steadfast opposition to whaling…

53 comments on “Outrage at Key’s pro-whaling plan”

  1. This is really appalling. Reintroducing commercial hunting will only legitimise the slaughter.

    And Japan will not moidify its behaviour. It snubs its nose at International Law now.

    Why are we legitimising their breach of international law by changing the law?

    • Marty G 1.1

      That’s what the Nats do, as long as the law breachers are rich and powerful. Just look at their tax changes.

      Tough on crime, what a laugh.

    • Just A Nobody 1.2

      This is no different to the “Anti Smacking Bill”, we were not consulted then and I hate to burst your bubble but the number of children being cruelly and brutally murdered by members of their own family has not declined, in fact it has RISEN since the introduction of this bill. So you really think the whales stand a chance with this so called Mandate!!????

      You are deluded if you believe this will be any different and we will see a decline in the numbers of brutally slain animals. This is just a trumped up way to legalise that which is already barbaric. But humans are motivated by one thing and one thing only, Money. So this will now open the way for organised crime to be in our faces everyday and we, the people, have no say, have no voice and have no vote!!! And if you think the next politician who takes Key’s place is any different, think again!!!!

  2. Neil 2

    Japan aren’t breaking international law, that’s sort of the point. They continue to whale via a loophole in the whaling treaty. The IWC is a voluntary group that Japan and the other whaling countries can walk away from at ant point.

    Commercial whaling already takes place and the number of whales killed is going up not down. if calling the whaling that takes place now what it is – commercial whaling – helps to reduce the number of whales being killed then so be it.

    That’s what’s being argued by people such as Palmer who are experienced. It’s worth engaging with even if you don’t agree.

    • Clarke 2.1

      Even if all that is true, why the sudden change of direction with no public debate? Since when did National have a mandate to do a back-flip on this high contentious and emotive issue?

    • Dave Head 2.2

      Japan’s continued and expanded program of scientific whaling is inconsistent
      with its obligations under the Law of the Sea Convention, the International
      Convention for the Regulation of Whaling Convention, the Convention on the
      Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR), and the
      Convention on Biological Diversity to protect and preserve the marine
      environment, to protect rare and fragile ecosystems and endangered species,
      to prepare environmental impact assessments when changes to the marine
      environment are likely to be caused by its activities, and to refrain from
      claiming resources under the guise of marine scientific research. This
      program is not legitimately “scientific” because it has not been
      peer-reviewed and does not have precise quantifiable goals. It is
      inconsistent with Japan’s obligations under the Convention on Biological
      Diversity because reduces the sustainability of whale species and has
      “adverse impacts on biological diversity.” It is unquestionably an abuse of
      right because it invokes Article VIII of the Whaling Convention in a manner
      that certainly was unanticipated by the framers of the Convention and has
      been repeatedly condemned by the majority of the other contracting parties
      to the Convention.

  3. Cnr Joe 3

    No no no no no, the Japanese are not ‘whaling’ They are Fishing. If you watch the Cove – on Japans local inshore dolphin slaughter – it is their Fisheries Minister that fronts up.
    We will not allow this mine it, cut it, burn it, slash it government that we are presently lumbered with to get away with every murder. Will we?
    These concessions are gateway drugs for big business.

  4. vto 4

    Putting aside the practicalities of trying to spit roast a whale, I agree that this Keystone govt is definitely pushing through all over the place.

    In our part of the NZ people I know who are heavily involved in enviro matters and the like report that, no matter the mandate or lack of, the levers of powers available to central govt are being hauled on to maximum effect. Similarly in other industries as you say Eddie.

    This lot are pushing hard. This push is against the tide that Clark’s lot got flowing (for better or worse). And this push is almost certainly against the general ideals of the public, and especially the swinging voters.

    Keys lot hav big noses and they are being shoved in all over the place. Right now. Almost all under the radar. Do not underestimate them.

    I think if the voting public appreciated the extent of the tsunami surge happenning right now the swing may be back to your own lot again.

  5. sk 5

    Comments that commercialisation will allow the whale kill to decline are bizarre. Japan will be under no pressure to stop ‘research’, so how does ‘compromise’ change anything?

    Neil, I do not see any arguments to engage with. Moreover, what does the NZ government expect to get from this?

    Japan is in major crisis. There is nothing to be gained from our perspective, unless Key, McCully and co have just become the global lap dog. Pathetic

    • Neil 5.1

      the proposal is to recognise current whaling for what it is – commercial – in exchange for lower whales killed over 10 yrs and the setting up of a whale sanctuary in the southern oceans lus a few other things.

      whales being killed is gong up not down.

      that’s an unpleasant compromise but experienced negotiators, not just from NZ but also the Obama team, are arguing that this will save the IWC falling apart at which point there will be zero controls on whaling.

      I’m disappointed that this is on the table but I’m willing to listen to the argument of people who have spent a lot of time trying to find a end to whaling via international diplomacy that this maybe the only to bring the whale kill down.

      • sk 5.1.1

        The problem is that the Japanese approach to whaling is not commercial. Whales have no commercial value, as say Bluefin tunas do. You do not ever see whale sashimi anywhere.

        This is about Japanese exceptionalism. Do you think Geoffrey Palmer has spent anytime visiting Yasukuni Shrine? Whaling is as logical (i.e. commercial) as the displays at Yasukuni.

        We need to get real.

        • Neil 5.1.1.1

          I see your point, Japanese attachment to whaling is irrational which is partly why this has been so intractable. For Norway and Iceland whaling is a commercial activity.

          And if calling the current whaling “commercial” instead if the even less accurate “scientific” helps lower the number killed as part of a package of measures then that might be something worth living with.

          I find it appalling but Palmer is no fool, not Keys’s puppet so I think he’s worth paying attention to.

      • Bright Red 5.1.2

        Neil. Are you Geoffrey Palmer or something? You seem obsessed with the negotiators.

        It’s the Government’s policy, they’re the ones who are answerable for this outrage.

        • Neil 5.1.2.1

          I’d have a very different view if our negotiator was David Garrett.

          The WWF has voiced cautious support for this. It’s a bit difficult to write them off as Japan’s stooge.

          • Pascal's bookie 5.1.2.1.1

            Got linky for the wwf thing? Google news only gives me things like:

            “WWF ANGER AT NEW WHALING PROPOSAL”

            The WWF has called for the international community to reject the International Whaling Commission’s (IWC) newly proposed deal over concerns that it makes too many compromises to countries that support continued whaling.

            and

            “Environmentalists Warn of New Dawn in Commercial Whaling “

            The international environmental group WWF has criticized a new plan on whaling released by the International Whaling Commission. It says the draft proposal would bring to an end a ban on commercial whaling that has lasted over two decades.

            and

            “Whaling plan would OK hunts but seek fewer kills”

            TOKYO — The global body that regulates whaling has proposed giving the green light to Japan to keep hunting the sea mammals in return for reducing the number of animals killed.

            Greenpeace and the World Wide Fund for Nature harshly condemned the draft plan which aims to unlock stalled talks when the 85-nation International Whaling Commission (IWC) meets next month in Florida

            and so on and so forth.

            Thing is, negotiators will see complete breakdown of negotiations as a worst possible outcome. Which is silly.

            If japan wants to kill less whales, they can do so now. Why would this deal bind them in 5 years when they can just threaten to walk out again? Especially given that comercial whaling will be officially ok and agreed to by even the likes of NZ?

            • Neil 5.1.2.1.1.1

              I heard a WWF spokesperson on Nat Rad. Maybe he is wasn’t indicative.

              If Japan agrees, they agree. If it works out to less whales killed then that’s progress. If it all falls over it’s Japan’s fault.

          • lprent 5.1.2.1.2

            I’d have a very different view if our negotiator was David Garrett.

            Who wouldn’t. Given his obsessions, he’d negotiate that what you could do with whales was to fondle the females and extract the male penis as a delicacy while leaving the rest of the whale alone..

  6. Michael Over Here 6

    This is ridiculous. Just as The Cove is about to realize distribution in Japan which could possibly cause real change. Now New Zealand decides to lose all moral high grown in the debate. What terribly stupid timing.

  7. insider 7

    It’s a confusing area but I thoguht whaling is and always has been legal, just ceased by agreement of members of the IWC, which is neither a compulsory group nor has powers over non members.

    • Bright Red 7.1

      The ban applies to IWC members, who are all the former major whaling nations – including Japan, Iceland, and Norway – and poor nations Japan has bribed to join.

      Norway and Iceland registered objections to the ban on commercial whaling so aren’t bound by it. Japan didn’t, and it’s the largest killer of whales.

      • Bright Red 7.1.1

        sorry, Iceland didn’t register an objection but it has resuemd commercial whaling. It is in breach of international law that it is subject to.

  8. Sanctuary 8

    So, John Key’s brilliant plan is let the Japanese eat so many whales they get sick of them.

    Undoubtably John Armstrong will declare it an aspirational in its target.

  9. I have had a look at the IWC website.

    The terms of the convention are there.

    Article 3 states:

    1. Notwithstanding anything contained in this Convention any Contracting Government may grant to any of its nationals a special permit authorizing that national to kill, take and treat whales for purposes of scientific research subject to such restrictions as to number and subject to such other conditions as the Contracting Government thinks fit, and the killing, taking, and treating of whales in accordance with the provisions of this Article shall be exempt from the operation of this Convention. Each Contracting Government shall report at once to the Commission all such authorizations which it has granted. Each Contracting Government may at any time revoke any such special permit which it has granted.”

    There is a limitation that the permit must be for the “purposes of scientific research”. What we are now witnessing does not get close to being able to be categorised as such. It is a bit like describing the use of first strike nuclear weapons as “self defence”. The difficulty with International Law is that it does not work with the predictability of domestic law and it is much more difficult to enforce.

    But NZ should at least stick to its guns and refuse to allow Japan any further wriggle room. If we back down on this then you have to question why we should have a treaty at all.

    • Dave Head 9.1

      2005-

      RESOLUTION ON JARPA II

      AWARE that Article VIII of the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling allows Contracting Governments to grant Special Permits for the purpose of scientific research on whales;

      RECALLING that since the moratorium on commercial whaling came into force in 1985/86, the IWC has adopted over 30 resolutions on Special Permit whaling in which it has generally expressed its opinion that Special Permit whaling should: be terminated and scientific research limited to non-lethal methods only (2003-2); refrain from involving the killing of cetaceans in sanctuaries (1998-4); ensure that the recovery of populations is not impeded (1987); and take account of the comments of the Scientific Committee (1987).

      ALSO RECALLING Resolution 2003-3 that no additional Japanese Whale Research Program under Special Permit in the Antarctic (JARPA) programs be considered until the Scientific Committee has completed an in-depth review of the results of JARPA;

      FURTHER RECALLING that earlier this year the Government of Japan concluded JARPA – an 18-year program of whaling under Special Permit in Antarctic waters;

      NOTING that the results of the JARPA program have not been reviewed by the Scientific Committee this year;

      CONCERNED that more than 6,800 Antarctic minke whales (Balaenoptera bonaerensis) have been killed in Antarctic waters under the 18 year of JARPA, compared with a total of 840 whales killed globally by Japan for scientific research in the 31 year period prior to the moratorium;

      STRONGLY URGES the Government of Japan to withdraw its JARPA II proposal or to revise it so that any information needed to meet the stated objectives of the proposal is obtained using non-lethal means

      Resolution 2007-1

      RESOLUTION ON JARPA

      WHEREAS paragraph 7(b) of the Schedule establishes a sanctuary in the Southern Ocean;

      RECALLING that the Commission has repeatedly requested Contracting Parties to refrain from issuing special permits for research involving the killing of whales within the Southern Ocean Sanctuary, has expressed deep concern at continuing lethal research within the Southern Ocean Sanctuary, and has also recommended that scientific research involving the killing of cetaceans should only be permitted where critically important research needs are addressed;

      NOW THEREFORE THE COMMISSION

      CALLS UPON the Government of Japan to address the 31 recommendations listed in Appendix 4 of Annex O of the Scientific Committee report relating to the December 2006 review of the JARPA I programme to the satisfaction of the Scientific Committee;

      FURTHER CALLS UPON the Government of Japan to suspend indefinitely the lethal aspects of JARPA II conducted within the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary.

  10. Lanthanide 10

    “Let’s be serious here. When did the commercialisation of a resource ever lead to a reduction in its use? Once the door is open, the commercial quotas will increase.”

    I’m not quite sure what you imagine is going to be part of this deal. The deal will go something like this:
    “You get to call it commercial whaling, and get these few benefits here, as long as you also abide by these restrictions: lowered quotas, setting up a sanctuary, etc”

    They can either take the deal, or not, and continue with the status quo. If they take the deal and then breach it, I am sure there will be large penalties. Obviously they will do what it is their best interests, so I think it’s more likely that they simply wouldn’t agree to a whaling quota and opt to continue with the status quo.

    • Bright Red 10.1

      here’s the draft proposal. http://media.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/special/climate-change/documents/post-carbon/IWC-M10-SWG4-Draft.pdf

      notice how most of the quota numbers aren’t filled in.

      also notice that the quota numbers will be up for resetting each year. Which direction do you think an IWC that votes for resuming commercial whaling is going to send those quotas?

      • Lanthanide 10.1.1

        Going by the sentiment of the negotiators involved:

        http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/3417026/Whaling-deal-would-need-to-be-a-good-one-McCully
        “The reduction would have to be significant, he said.”

        I would say: downwards.

        NZ is ONLY going to do this deal if they think they can save a significant number of whales from being killed. I have to re-iterate with Neil has said above: it is all up to Japan, if they agree to reduced quotas, and then break it, it’s Japan’s fault. After all, the scientific whaling clause was put in their with the best of intentions, but Japan has been flouting it: Japan’s fault, not the original agreements.

        • Bright Red 10.1.1.1

          No. We buy the deal hoping (or in National’s case: not really caring) it will be downwards but in doing so we legitimise commercial whaling and Japan only has to win majorities for gradual increases in the quotas.

          • Lanthanide 10.1.1.1.1

            Unless the deal is actually structured so that gradual revisions aren’t possible. I mean duh.

            • Bright Red 10.1.1.1.1.1

              The draft deal (which I gave you the link for) does not set quotas for all time, and does not have reductions in the numbers that are set.

              Moreover, the IWC meets every year. It can vote to amend any exisitng agreement it has passed. It can’t make an agreement that it itself can’t later amend.

              duh.

        • Pascal's bookie 10.1.1.2

          Japan’s fault, not the original agreements

          Both, actually.

          And as BR says, if Japan uses any proposed legitimacy of commercial whaling to increase the kill, then those that argued for and granted that legitimacy are also at fault.

          It’s not an unforeseen scenario, but an obvious potentiality.

  11. Bill 11

    There was an interviewee on RNZ a few weeks ago proposing just this very trade off. ( A Kim Hill interview from memory should anybody be keen enough to dig out the link) He stated position was as an ardent conservationist.

    Anyway. The basic thrust of the argument he was aware of was that some whales were no longer endangered ( can’t remember the species…minke?) and that if the focus of whaling was shifted to these more abundant species and limited to national exclusive fishing zones while a complete ban was simultaneously imposed in Antarctic waters, then it would be a step forwards.

    He himself wasn’t exactly cock-a-hoop at the proposal, but appeared to be willing to accept it.

    • Neil 11.1

      sound like what’s on the table. If the whaling nations don’t sign up Australia will then take legal action – but that only involves whaling in the southern oceans. So even if that’s effective then it still looks a lot like what the SWG is proposing but with no monitoring, no chance of enforcement.

  12. Greg 12

    If Japan takes whales now under disguise of scientific research it is likely to be devious in any agreement for limited whale a quota.
    what about the method of killing whales? A slow painful death.

    • Bill 12.1

      There will be no quota.

      There will be areas demarcated as whaling and non-whaling which, it will be argued, is as good as a quota, because any whale inside a safe zone blah, blah, blah.

      There will also be some pressure to hunt species x but not species y.

      And that’s it. Oh, yeah. And a lot of bullshit posturing intended to have us believe that there really was no other option.

  13. Bill 13

    Sea Shepherd harrassed the whalers for weeks in the Southern Ocean Sanctuary this year and previous years, has saved thousands of whales from slaughter and hit the Japanese whalers in their pocketbooks, where it hurts most. That’s commitment. The rest is a lot of talk. Sea Shepherd acts under Article 21 of the UN’s World Charter for Nature; they are doing the job of governments, policing the oceans; much of the problem stems from organized crime.

    This IS a commercial operation, Yakuza-controlled. These ARE thugs, who trade the whale meat on the international black market. Their tentacles are deep inside the government: branches in heaven, roots in hell. The Nats are aiding and abetting organized crime by pandering to the Japanese.

    Key’s modest proposal is a cruel joke. It ensures that tens of thousands of whales will continue to be in danger of dying slow and agonizing deaths by exploding harpoon. Further, it will undo decades of work to protect whales by legitimizing whaling in the Southern Ocean, lifting restrictions on the international trade in whale meat, and setting quotas based on political decisions,which will be a major victory for whaling and an unmitigated disaster for the whales. If you don’t like it, let your government know.

    It’s time for the people of New Zealand to wake up to where this government is leading us. Let the IWC collapse, it was founded as an organization of whale butchers, and the Japanese have been anything but honest in way they have manipulated votes by recruiting poor non-whaling nations. It’s time we let our voices be heard. The Steve Irwin will be coming to Wellington on the 19th of March. Be there for the whales!

  14. Colleen Grant 14

    My belief is Mr Key is bowing to the Japanese Government,because of trading and money, after all money talks, to Hell with the whales. Know doubt there will be less votes for National next the next term.

  15. Kat 15

    What is NZ seriously coming to? Key is a twat.

  16. Ms X 16

    I am appalled – I can’t believe that yet another non-mandated issue is sneaking thru – from such a “nice man”.

  17. Stauny 17

    So to stop them already illegally taking too many whales, we are giving them a pass into our waters to make it easier to commit those crimes. Who polices the waters because in the past the officials for Japan fisheries are more corrupt than the fishers. How about instead of giving in we inforce the law with harded penalaties that have to be served here, im sure illegal whale killers in our prisons would be a great reason for them to stop.
    FUCK YOU JOHN KEY, HOW DO YOU EXPECT TO BE RESPECTED AND TAKEN SERIOUSLY WHEN YOU DONT EVEN CONSULT YOUR COUNTRY, arent you suppose to be working with and for the people?

  18. matt Blair 18

    he got in to power because a lot of you were too busy at cocktail parties and hippy festivals to turn up and vote for someone else :p

  19. Adrian 19

    I didn’t vote for John Key or the National party at the last election, and I hope that many of the people who moved their votes from Labour to National in 2008 are now sorry for what they did.

    Let’s face it – John Key is a figurehead or a puppet for Rodney Hide and the Act party. The Act party has so much power over the National party it makes me sick. Because the National party needs the Act party to gets laws through, pretty much anything the Act party wants goes.

    As for the whaling, it’s an awful decision on the National party’s part. So, equally, is the awful job they’ve done in planning the new Auckland Super City. However, I also believe that what the Sea Shepherd did was illegal and was wrong. Attacking whaling ships in the open sea is not a good solution to achieving anything.

    I agree with a previous poster who said that the National party doesn’t care one iota about conservation and the environment. It’s all about maximising economic benefit with them.
    However, I’m not surprised that the National party is trying to push through a lot now. This is the middle year of this 3-year term folks. They have to get lots done this year because next year they’ll be trying to be nice to us as NZ citizens to get us to vote for them again. Well, National party, as long as you are the mouthpiece of the Act party, you are so not getting my vote.

  20. david@tokyo 20

    > The protection we won them is helping to bring species back from the brink.d

    This is not true, the 1982 moratorium was adopted at a point in time by which the Right whale, Blue whale, Humpback whale, Fin whale and Sei whale species had already been protected globally for some years.

    What the moratorium did was additionally protect the Antarctic minke whale, which was never endangered or over-exploited in the first place.

    In other words, that the moratorium was enacted by the IWC was due to a massive loophole in it’s convention. The IWC was never intended to protect abundant species of whale.

    • > The protection we won them is helping to bring species back from the brink.d

      This is not true, the 1982 moratorium was adopted at a point in time by which the Right whale, Blue whale, Humpback whale, Fin whale and Sei whale species had already been protected globally for some years.

      The convention has slowed down the killing of whales and therefore has helped bring species back from the brink.

      Can you provide a reputable source for your claim in whale numbers?

      Reputable does not include the Institute of Cetacean Research.

    • Dave Head 20.2

      DAvis @ Tokyo is a pro-whaling whore in the employ of the Japanese. He always post half truths [at best].
      Myth : Whale populations are numerous and increasing.
      The whalers argue repeatedly that whale populations are numerous and increasing, and that their catches will not deplete those populations.
      However, these arguments are based on some doubtful science. For example:

      The website of Japan’s Institute of Cetacean Research (ICR) claims that populations of humpback and fin whales are growing by 14-16. The IWC’s Scientific Committee has agreed is biologically impossible.

      The Japanese government continues to cite an outdated estimate of 760,000 minke whales in the Southern Hemisphere.

      The 760,000 figure was an estimate based on surveys completed in 1987/88 which the IWC Scientific Committee once acknowledged was the best available at the time. Since then, more recent surveys have suggested a significantly lower abundance of minke whales. Indeed, the Scientific Committee agreed in 2000 that the 760,000 number was no longer appropriate. There has been no agreed population estimate since and the population may be declining.

      Proposed Japanese catches of humpback and fin whales in the Antarctic will occur in populations that are believed to be below the level at which catches would be allowed under scientific guidelines developed by the IWC.
      Catches of humpbacks may threaten recovery of isolated humpback populations in the Pacific as well as interfering with existing non-lethal research programs.
      The IWC has a number of times taken Japan to task over its commercial/research whaling:
      2005-

      RESOLUTION ON JARPA II

      AWARE that Article VIII of the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling allows Contracting Governments to grant Special Permits for the purpose of scientific research on whales;

      RECALLING that since the moratorium on commercial whaling came into force in 1985/86, the IWC has adopted over 30 resolutions on Special Permit whaling in which it has generally expressed its opinion that Special Permit whaling should: be terminated and scientific research limited to non-lethal methods only (2003-2); refrain from involving the killing of cetaceans in sanctuaries (1998-4); ensure that the recovery of populations is not impeded (1987); and take account of the comments of the Scientific Committee (1987).

      ALSO RECALLING Resolution 2003-3 that no additional Japanese Whale Research Program under Special Permit in the Antarctic (JARPA) programs be considered until the Scientific Committee has completed an in-depth review of the results of JARPA;

      FURTHER RECALLING that earlier this year the Government of Japan concluded JARPA – an 18-year program of whaling under Special Permit in Antarctic waters;

      NOTING that the results of the JARPA program have not been reviewed by the Scientific Committee this year;

      CONCERNED that more than 6,800 Antarctic minke whales (Balaenoptera bonaerensis) have been killed in Antarctic waters under the 18 year of JARPA, compared with a total of 840 whales killed globally by Japan for scientific research in the 31 year period prior to the moratorium;

      STRONGLY URGES the Government of Japan to withdraw its JARPA II proposal or to revise it so that any information needed to meet the stated objectives of the proposal is obtained using non-lethal means

  21. david@tokyo 21

    > Once the door is open, the commercial quotas will increase.

    IWC quotas can only be modified at the IWC by 3/4th’s majority vote. Which nations are going to suddenly start voting to increase quotas, “once the door is open”?

    • Greg 21.1

      Why wont the IWC ban votes from landlocked nations force the methods of campaigning to be open, with certain methods banned? Then again even that might not work if a nation like Japan did not like it might just leave the IWC.
      Of course nothing will really work if limited whale hunting becomes legal. The only thing that might work is massive demonstrations and public opinion in countries like Japan. There might be a real problem having massive demonstrations in Japan..

  22. Melissa Marie 22

    I thought we were a country that stood by its values:-(
    I support the need for economic development but am saddened by our Governments decision not to support Australia in making whaling history.

    In saying this, history proves that social change occurs through the power of individuals.
    Have your say … make whaling history via innovative ways to bring about change:

    The following facebook page recommends people around the world send instant noodles to the Prime Minister of Japan to feed the hungry children of his country:
    http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=9038486134
    Post him a parcel or two and feel free while you’re at it, to post an additional pack to the Japanese Embassy in Wellington and maybe even our Foreign Trade Minister Murray McCully … he needs some intestinal fortitude right now!

    The internet holds massive power. Is even worth becoming ‘friends’ with Japanese facebook groups such as ‘I love Japan’, ‘Tokyo’ and ‘Sushi’ that have thousands of fans / friends and then posting mention your love for Japan but how saddened you are by its yearly slaughter of 22,000 dolphins and countless whales. Photos of slaughtered whales or recommendations of films such as The Cove can then be added to ensure your message is understood on an emotive / visual level.

  23. john 23

    Japan is a ruthless resource rip off outlaw and a spoiled brat of America, who kiss their a… to keep them in the capitalist camp and from going apeshit again aka ww11. We should resist criminal whaling by every means possible.Our so called Government are spineless wimps.

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    Labour is today calling on the Government to issue an apology for historic abuse in state institutions. Speaking after the launch of Elizabeth Stanley’s book “The Road to Hell; state violence against Children in Post-war New Zealand”, Labour’s Justice spokesperson ...
    1 day ago
  • It’s OK to have a few slaves, just not too many? Minimum wage loophole hasn’t gone away
    New Zealand still needs legislation to ensure adult New Zealanders are not exploited by being taken on as contractors for less than the equivalent of the minimum wage, says Labour list MP David Parker.  “My Minimum Wage (Contractor Remuneration) Amendment ...
    1 day ago
  • Lessons from the Future of Work Commission: Building Wealth from the Ground Up
    Good morning, and thank you for attending today’s Future of Work Seminar here in Wellington. I want to particularly acknowledge Beth Houston who has spent many hours pulling together the programme for today’s event, and to Olivier and the staff ...
    1 day ago
  • Backbencher Matt’s Bill is a Doocey
    The latest National Member’s Bill pulled from the ballot is yet another waste of Parliament’s time and shows the Government’s contempt for the House and the public with much more important issues needing debate, says Labour’s Shadow Leader of the ...
    2 days ago
  • Gun laws creaking under the strain
     Questions have to be asked  after surprising revelations at the Law and Order Select Committee about the police and their ability to manage the gun problem in New Zealand, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Stuart Nash.  “The lack of resources is ...
    2 days ago
  • Most homeless are working poor – Otago Uni
    The finding by Otago University researcher Dr Kate Amore that most homeless people are in work or study is one of the most shocking aspects of the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Social service agencies report many ...
    2 days ago
  • Māori seats entrenched by Tirikatene Bill
    National and the Māori Party need to support my member’s Bill which is designed to entrench the Māori electorate seats in Parliament, Labour’s Te Tai Tonga MP Rino Tirikatene says. “Under the Electoral Act the provisions establishing the general electorates ...
    3 days ago
  • Trade dumping bill could hurt NZ industries
    The Commerce Select Committee is currently hearing submissions on the Trade (Anti-dumping and Countervailing Duties) Amendment Bill. This bill worries me. I flagged some major concerns during its first reading.   I am now reading submissions from NZ Steel, ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    3 days ago
  • Just 8 per cent of work visas for skills shortages
    Just 16,000 – or 8 per cent – of the 209,000 work visas issued last year were for occupations for which there is an identified skills shortage, says Labour Immigration spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “The overwhelming majority of the record number ...
    3 days ago
  • Hard won agreement shouldn’t be thrown away
    The Government should ignore talk across the Tasman about doing away with the labelling of GM free products, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King. “Labelling of genetically modified products was a hard won agreement in 2001 by Australian and the ...
    3 days ago
  • National’s privatisation Trojan horse
     The National government is using the need to modernise the school system as a Trojan horse for privatisation and an end to free public education as we know it, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.  “There is no doubt that ...
    3 days ago
  • Shameless land-banking ads show need for crackdown
    The fact that more than 300 sections are shamelessly being advertised on Trade Me as land-banking opportunities during a housing crisis shows the need for a crackdown on property speculators, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. “Of the 328 ...
    3 days ago
  • Standard and Poor’s warning of housing crisis impact on banks
    The National Government’s failure to address the housing crisis is leading to dire warnings from ratings agency Standard and Poor’s about the impact on the strength of the economy and New Zealand banks, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Standard ...
    3 days ago
  • Ihumatao needs action not sympathy
    The Petition of Save Our Unique Landscape (SOUL) calling on Parliament to revoke Special Housing Area 62 in order to protect the Ihumatao Peninsula and Stonefields, has fallen on deaf ears, says the Labour MP for Mangere Su’a William Sio.  ...
    3 days ago
  • Student visa fraud & exploitation must stop
    The Government must act immediately to end fraud and exploitation of international students that threatens to damage New Zealand’s reputation, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. ...
    4 days ago
  • Government needs to show leadership in reviewing monetary policy
    The Reserve Bank’s struggles to meet its inflation target, the rising exchange rate and the continued housing crisis shows current monetary policy needs to be reviewed - with amendments to the policy targets agreement a bare minimum, says Labour’s Finance ...
    4 days ago
  • Slash and burn of special education support
    Slashing the support for school age children with special needs is no way to fund earlier intervention, Labour’s Education Spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.  “National’s latest plan to slash funding for children with special needs over the age of 7 in ...
    5 days ago
  • National’s Pasifika MPs must have free vote
      Pacific people will not take kindly to the Government whipping their Pacific MPs to vote in favour of a  Bill that will allow Sunday trading  at Easter, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “We are seeing ...
    1 week ago
  • Maritime Crimes Bill – balancing security and free speech
    Parliament is currently considering the Maritime Crimes Amendment Bill, which would bring New Zealand up to date with current international rules about maritime security. The debate around the Bill reflects two valid issues: legitimate counter-terrorism measures and the right to ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham
    1 week ago
  • Teachers’ low wages at the centre of shortages
      Figures that show teachers’ wages have grown the slowest of all occupations is at the heart of the current teacher shortage, says Labour’s Education Spokesperson Chris Hipkins.  In the latest Labour Cost Index, education professionals saw their wages grow ...
    1 week ago
  • Government’s Tax Law undermines common law principles
    A tax amendment being snuck in under the radar allows changes to tax issues to be driven through by the Government without Parliamentary scrutiny, says Labour’s Revenue spokesman Stuart Nash. “The amendment allows any part of the Tax Administration Act ...
    1 week ago
  • Government slippery about caption funding
      The Government has refused to apologise for taking the credit for funding Olympic Games captioning when the National Foundation for the Deaf  was responsible, says Labour’s spokesperson on Disability Issues Poto Williams.  “This shameful act of grandstanding by Ministers ...
    1 week ago
  • Default KiwiSaver investments should be reviewed
    The investments of the default KiwiSaver providers should be reviewed to make sure they are in line with New Zealanders’ values and expectations, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Most New Zealanders would be appalled that their KiwiSaver funds are ...
    1 week ago
  • New ministry should look after all children
    The Government has today shunned well founded pleas by experts not to call its new agency the Ministry for Vulnerable Children, Labour’s Spokesperson for Children Jacinda Ardern says.  “Well respected organisations and individuals such as Children's Commissioner Judge Andrew Becroft ...
    1 week ago
  • Ratification okay but we need action
    Today’s decision to ratify the Paris agreement on Climate Change by the end of the year is all well and good but where is the plan, says Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods.  “The Government’s failure to plan is planning ...
    1 week ago
  • Stats changes can’t hide unemployment reality
    Today’s minor drop in unemployment numbers is nothing to celebrate given the changes made to the official numbers that cut thousands of people looking for work out of the jobless rate, says Labour’s Employment spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Making any comparisons ...
    1 week ago
  • Stats changes can’t hide unemployment reality
    Today’s minor drop in unemployment numbers is nothing to celebrate given the changes made to the official numbers that cut thousands of people looking for work out of the jobless rate, says Labour’s Employment spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Making any comparisons ...
    1 week ago
  • Auckland’s affordable homes plummet 72% under National
    Comprehensive new data from CoreLogic has found the number of homes in Auckland valued at under $600,000 has plummeted by 72 per cent since National took office, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. “This data tracks the changes in ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt should face the facts not skew the facts
    National appears to be actively massaging official unemployment statistics by changing the measure for joblessness to exclude those looking online, says Labour’s Employment spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The Household Labour Force Survey, released tomorrow, no longer regards people job hunting on ...
    2 weeks ago
  • More voices call for review of immigration policy
    The Auckland Chamber of Commerce is the latest credible voice to call for a review of immigration and skills policy, leaving John Key increasingly isolated, says Opposition Leader Andrew Little. “The Prime Minister is rapidly becoming a man alone. He ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Better balance needed in Intelligence Bill
    Labour will support the NZ Intelligence and Security Bill to select committee so the issues can be debated nationwide and important amendments can be made, says Opposition Leader Andrew Little. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Serco circus has no place in NZ
    A High Court judgment proves National’s private prison agenda has failed and the Serco circus has no place in New Zealand correctional facilities, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • State house sell-off a kick in the guts for Tauranga’s homeless
    The Government’s sale of 1124 state houses in Tauranga won’t house a single extra homeless person in the city, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Tauranga, like the rest of New Zealand, has a crisis of housing affordability and homelessness. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Axing Auckland’s affordable quota disappointing
    Auckland Council has given away a useful tool for delivering more affordable housing by voting to accept the Independent Hearing Panel’s recommendation to abolish affordable quotas for new developments, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Ae Marika! Māori Party Oath Bill fails
    The Māori Party must reconsider its relationship with National after they failed to support Marama Fox’s Treaty of Waitangi Oath bill, Labour’s Maori Development Spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Police Minister all platitudes no detail
    The Police Minister must explain where the budget for new police officers is coming from after continuously obfuscating, Labour’s Police spokesperson Stuart Nash says. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Lost luggage law shows National’s lost the plot
    The Government has proven it can’t address the big issues facing the tourism industry by allowing a Members Bill on lost luggage to be a priority, Labour’s Tourism spokesman Kris Faafoi said. “Nuk Korako’s Bill drawn from the Members’ Ballot ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Hiding behind the law – but can’t say which law
    National is refusing to come clean on what caused the potential trade dispute with China by hiding behind laws and trade rules they can’t even name, says Labour’s Trade and Export Growth spokesperson David Clark. “National admitted today that an ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Work visas issued for jobs workless Kiwis want
    Thousands of work visas for low-skilled jobs were issued by the Government in the past year despite tens of thousands of unemployed Kiwis looking for work in those exact occupations, Labour’s Immigration spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “A comparison of the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Kiwis nationwide now paying for housing crisis
    The Government’s failure to tackle the housing crisis is now affecting the entire country with nationwide house price inflation in the past year hitting 26 per cent, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “None of National’s tinkering or half-baked, piecemeal ...
    2 weeks ago
  • OCR cut piles pressure on Government
    Today’s OCR cut must be backed by Government action on housing and economic growth, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Reserve Bank Governor Graeme Wheeler’s monetary policy statement underlines the limits of Bill English’s economic management. He says growth is ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government must explain the McClay delay
    Todd McClay must explain why it took two months for him to properly inform the Prime Minister about China’s potential trade retaliation, says Labour’s Trade and Export Growth spokesperson David Clark. “This may be one of the most serious trade ...
    2 weeks ago
  • OCR cut would be vote of no confidence in economy
    If Reserve Bank Governor Graeme Wheeler cuts the OCR tomorrow it would show that, despite his loudly-voiced concerns about fuelling the housing market, the stuttering economy is now a bigger concern, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Bill English and ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Leading medical experts back Healthy Homes Bill
    Leading medical experts have today thrown their weight behind my Healthy Homes Guarantee Bill, saying it will improve the health of Kiwi kids, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. “The Bill sets minimum standards for heating, insulation and ventilation ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister, it’s time to listen to the Auditor General
    Minister of Health Jonathan Coleman needs to listen to the independent advice of the Auditor General and review the capital charge system imposed on District Health Boards, says Labour’ Health Spokesperson Annette King.  “The capital charge on DHBs has been ...
    2 weeks ago

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