web analytics
The Standard
Advertising

Thank you activists

Written By: - Date published: 9:42 am, February 8th, 2013 - 32 comments
Categories: activism, Conservation, Mining - Tags: , ,

Last February eight Greenpeace activists occupied the mast of the ship “Noble Discoverer” for 77 hours to protest oil exploration in the Arctic. Looking back I see that I wrote about it at the time:

The courage of their convictions

While most of us talk about “saving the world” some people act.

I have a lot of respect for the Greenpeace activists, including headline-woman Lucy Lawless, who are occupying a Shell Oil drilling ship, to prevent its departure to start drilling operations in the Arctic.

Now in their third day of occupation atop a high tower, and attracting international attention, the six remaining activists are hanging on in dangerous and difficult conditions.

They planned their protest carefully so as not to endanger others, or interfere with the operation of the ship. But they are breaking the law, and thus all willingly risking the legal consequences (and possible career damage etc).

Of course many from the right wing of politics will condemn them as law breakers. But what is a sane person to do when the law is an ass, and the world has gone mad? In my opinion the actions of these protestors are fully justified, entirely rational, and very very brave. From the guilty comfort of my ergonomic chair and the safety of my keyboard, I salute you all.

As widely covered, the activists were sentenced yesterday, each to 120 hours of community service and a fine of $650 (“to cover port costs”). I’d like to thank them once again for their courage. I hope Greenpeace is planning to set up a mechanism for accepting donations to pay their fines (just had a quick look and couldn’t see anything on their web site, post details in comments if you find a link).

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.

The activists knew what they were letting themselves in for, and they have successfully attracted plenty of attention to their cause. To our cause…

32 comments on “Thank you activists”

  1. ak 1

    I think kudos are also due to the New Plymouth District Court that heard the case

    Nup. It’s just that Lucy Lawless aint a brown benny who’s pocketed $20 a week for a few years, and “hanging judges” know well where public kudos is found. Not even the SST would lay a finger on Xena – let alone their vain acolytes.

  2. The Judge was Alan Roberts a former defence lawyer and a keen surfie and someone who likely thinks quietly that environmental protection is important.

    • TightyRighty 2.1

      great to know that justice system can be considered beyond the personal prejudice of it’s executors. Hardly surprising that you think this is a good thing when the lack of impartialality coincides with your personal viewpoint

      • mickysavage 2.1.1

        Yep Tighty righty people who think that protection of the environment is good are obviously not impartial. You know how it goes, first you want to protect the environment, the next thing that you are doing is buying arms on the black market and planning how to hijack jumbo jets and fly them into sky scrapers …

        • TightyRighty 2.1.1.1

          For a supposed lawyer, you come up with shit arguments.

          your smug satisfaction that a judge may have let personal prejudice influence a criminal hearing is deplorable for someone whose career path supposedly means you work within the laws of the land. Justice should be impartial, not partial to your causes if they involve breaking the law.

          You equating caring for the environment equals terrorism is strange, but hardly surprising given how intellectually bankrupt you are. shit attempt at deflection. Maybe a refresher course in ethics 101 alongside some debating practice for you.

          • mickysavage 2.1.1.1.1

            Wow TR …

            I am just perplexed that you think that enviromental protection is such a bad thing.

            And I did not accuse the Judge of being partial.

            Nor did I equate caring for the environment with terrorism. I read that into your comments and I made a joke about it, which was a waste of time by the looks of it …

            • TightyRighty 2.1.1.1.1.1

              Jokes are funny Micky. You wouldn’t know this of course as you’ve never been able to complete one.

              the environmental protection part is a moot point. your almost gleeful supposition that because a judge surfs, he probably secretly supports breaking the law if it is supposedly to “protect the environment” when you yourself are a stakeholder in the justice system that is deplorable. Ethical is a hard word for you to comprehend, let alone be.

              • Feck

                I surmised that because someone surfs they probably like the environment.

                Such faux outrage TR. Do you practice in a mirror every day?

                • TightyRighty

                  No you implied a judicial agent is biased when dealing with a case. The fact you think it’s just a joke and all is ok shows your complete lack of ethics. Little wonder you want to stand for parliament. hard to believe but you actually give lawyers a bad name

              • So tell us, Righty, is the law so black and white for you that you wouldn’t even allow the defence of self-protection say in a case of home invasion?

                • TightyRighty

                  It’s not about the decision frank. You retard. It’s Micky with his laughable belief that its ok for the sole arbiters of our justice to be personally biased.

  3. Rosie 3

    Absolutely these activists deserve our thanks. Many activists do deserve our thanks and appreciation but they largely go ignored.

    While I and I’d guess others commenting here may be invloved in work that benefits social equality, work rights or protecting the environment, or any number of “causes” (feel free to suggest a less cheesy, and more worthy word) it takes a steely kind of person to do something physically radical in an effort to lay down a challenge to what is unjust.
    Just one example: I have real admiration for those animal rights activists who enter factory farms to film the inhumane conditions the animals are subjected to and then distribute those images to the public via the web and/or via tv campaigns. I’d never have the guts to do that and appreciate that they do.

    Finally whilst in activist appreciation mode I’d like to thank all those folk of the generation before mine that stood up and made a noise for Womens rights and equality, for ethnic equality and dignity ( all you Springboks protesters too) and for nuclear free NZ. What an impact and a difference you made.

    • Anne 3.1

      I’d like to thank all those folk of the generation before mine that stood up and made a noise for Womens rights and equality, for ethnic equality and dignity ( all you Springboks protesters too) and for nuclear free NZ. What an impact and a difference you made.

      Hear hear Rosie.

      Anyone who has been subjected to personal fallout because… they had the guts to stand up and be counted over something they felt strongly about, will have some idea what these people can go through on our behalf.

      Congratulations to Lucy Lawless and the other Greenpeace activists. A job well done.

  4. Rich 4

    It would also be good to get a group along to wherever they’re doing their community service and provide a show of support.

  5. Bill 5

    Just wondering. As a comparison, what kind of sentence was handed out to the CEO of Shell following their Gulf of Mexico spill? Any sentence at all? Any community service? No.

    That sentence is bullshit.

    And anyone who is basically supportive of what they did and also supports the sentence…lets imagine an unemployed activist. That $650 would be huge….roughly 3 weeks worth of income. Quite unpayable without immense hardship. Are you fine with that?

    • r0b 5.1

      I’m not fine with immense hardship. Which is why the post asked if there was a way we could donate to pay their fines.

      • Bill 5.1.1

        Sorry r0b. Didn’t intend that previous comment to come across as ‘having a go’. My apologies if it did.

        The immediate question that sprung to mind when I read it was simply :- What about the next time there are pickets at a port? Can those denying entry to vehicles carrying scabs expect to recieve a fine of around $650 to cover ‘port costs’ each and every time they stage a ‘sit down’?

        • r0b 5.1.1.1

          Sorry r0b. Didn’t intend that previous comment to come across as ‘having a go’. My apologies if it did.

          No problem Bill, no doubt it will be a kick in the guts for some of them if they don’t get support.

  6. Tiger Mountain 6

    Well done Lucy and colleagues. Lots of respect for that action.

    Still have my crash helmet with a baton mark on from ’81 so thankyou Rosie.

    More offline activism is urgently needed. Sad ass sacked Mainzeal workers respect a couple of security guards? Push them aside and get your gear contractors. Subbies are so ShonKey lovers, but do it. Manufacturing company closures like Oamaru? Occupy the plant.

    • Rosie 6.1

      Big ups to you Tiger Mountain for the action you took. To look back and see how a population mobilised around the tour and went to quite extraordinary lengths to stand their ground is quite astonishing in comparison to todays response, or lack of it, to issues.

      Geez, we don’t even have any political satire on our tv screens. Silenced even in our funny bones.

      • Anne 6.1.1

        We cut our political teeth in the 1970s. There was the Vietnam War, French nuclear testing in our back-yard, the racially selected Springbok tours culminating in the 1981 protests, dawn raids on Pacific Island communities, Muldoon – and where do you start with him? That’s just what I remember off the top of my head. They were heady times.

        What’s more we had real investigative journalism. And yes, we had TV satire too – even against themselves. I remember a skit about TV news readers. Their voices and physical movements exaggerated of course. Their necks were constantly swiveling to the right in perfect unison as they went to film clips. At the end of the session they lifted huge bundles of papers up with their hands and made a terrible racket banging them on the table. It was funny to watch.

        • Rosie 6.1.1.1

          Sad, you’d probably get sued for defamation now! The last satire I remember was the one with puppets, can’t remember the name. It was during the Clark years. John Campbell was frequently lampooned.

  7. Fortran 7

    Looking forward to Greenpeace’s input in the next Labour/Green/Winston Government in 2014.

    They have the ability to call on great international support, and money.

  8. George D 8

    The idea that the courts are impartial is a useful and widely held myth professed by almost everyone in the legal profession, though I’ve found few who actually believe it. It’s propagated because it suits the interests of those who need to impose force through the courts, and those who use the courts have everything to lose by undermining this, an act which challenges the authority of the courts (and thus the state which maintains the monopoly on the legitimate use of force against its citizens). Thus it’s only radicals seeking to undermine the system who make such claims, whereas everyone else waits until they’re behind closed doors and in confidence. In the United States this radicalism is actually much more common on the right, as they have decided themselves disadvantaged by the status quo.

    The truth is that justice is not blind, and the ruling and sentence you get depends tremendously on who you sit in front of. And how close to lunch it is.

  9. :mrgreen: Agree with you post, Anthony Robins
    :mrgreen: Well said
    :mrgreen: Thankyou
    :mrgreen: Activists
    :mrgreen: Bravo! to you

  10. Funny how contemporaries of civil rights activists in the 1960s labelled said activists with all manner of derogatory epithets. And yet history was firmly on the side of civil rights campaigners.

    The same will hold true for Greenpeace (and other organisations) who campaigned to highlight the threats to our environment.

    The only way History will not view Greenpeace (et al) as being on the right side of history is when this planet is laid waste; the oceans are dead; the air is barely breathable; and the last tree resides in a rich man’s private arborium. As humanity dies in it’s own filth, Wall Street records a final sharemarket result – 0%.

    I give thanks that Greenpeace and other environmental activists offer a glimmer of hope.

  11. Jenny 11

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

    NZ Herald

    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

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

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

    The decision to seek such extraordinary punitive damages points to an increasing politicisation of our police force.

    The police have failed with their campaign of intimidation in court.

    Will the police 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 decide to respond disproportionately?

    Going on their record in court the chances are very high, that the police will act in a very brutal and over the top manner against any future such peaceful protest actions.

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

    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.

  12. BHAT 12

    Good for you Lucy.
    And to think, people only see her as a big pair of tits.
    Disgusting.

Important links

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Justice for our boys
    As we remember the ultimate price paid by so many of our brave boys during the Gallipoli campaign, let us also pause to consider what their sacrifice really meant, and who is to blame for what happened....
    Imperator Fish | 25-04
  • Comparing the CMJ
    This is a graphical representation of just how much land we’ve turned over to out motorway network. The image below is of what effectively constitutes the Central Motorway Junction (CMJ). This is 49 hectares in size. It kind of reminds me...
    Transport Blog | 25-04
  • Remembering the Dead and Thinking of the Living
    More people are attending ANZAC dawn parades across the country than ever before and the harsh realities of past wars are becoming more widely known. We now know about the lost opportunities that could have avoided military conflict, the poor...
    Local Bodies | 25-04
  • March Madness 2014 results
    We already knew that rail set a new record in March by rising above 11 million passengers for the first time. What we didn’t know is just by how much it had passed and how the other PT modes fared. We...
    Transport Blog | 24-04
  • A sacred day
    There will be no politicking on this site on Anzac morning, even if John Key is an evil monster who must be stopped at all costs....
    Imperator Fish | 24-04
  • Fatah and Hamas – a marriage made in peace hell
    Rival Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas want to have another go at marriage.They can’t promise anything, but are willing to have a try in order to reinstate the dwindling legitimacy they are both suffering from their respective enclaves....
    Pundit | 24-04
  • Know your Tory fellow travellers and ideologues: John Bishop, Taxpayers Uni...
    . . On 19 March, I reported on the Board members of the so-called “Taxpayers Union”. With one exception, every single member of the Taxpayers Union Board was a current (or recent) card-carrying member or supporter of the National and/or...
    Frankly Speaking | 24-04
  • Three Songs For ANZAC Day
     Eric Bogle:  And The Band Played Waltzing Matilda  Eric Bogle: No Man's Land (The Green Fields Of France)  Redgum: I Was Only Nineteen They tell us that at Gallipoli New Zealand came of age as a nation. Well, if that's true, why is...
    Bowalley Road | 24-04
  • Labels for climate data
    “These results are quite strange”, my colleague told me. He analysed some of the recent climate model results from an experiment known by the cryptic name ‘CMIP5‘. It turned out that the results were ok, but we had made an...
    Real Climate | 24-04
  • Solemn Falsehoods: ANZAC Day, 2014
    Worthy Sons? Every ANZAC Day we tell ourselves that the blood sacrifice of Gallipoli marked the birth of New Zealand nationhood. But as the above poster attests, it was not our independence that George, the King Emperor, acknowledged but our...
    Bowalley Road | 24-04
  • Murray Horton Speaking Tour : Who’s Running The Show?
    Press Release – Campaign Against Foreign Control Of Aotearoa MURRAY HORTON SPEAKING TOUR May 4 – 29 Whos Running The Show? And In Whose Interests? Murray Horton is the long serving Organiser and spokesperson for two Christchurch-based groups, the Campaign...
    Its our future | 24-04
  • US President Obama and Prime Minister Abe of Japan – Presser
    Press Release – The White House PRIME MINISTER ABE: (As interpreted.) On behalf of the Japanese people, I would like to express my heartfelt welcome to President Barack Obama, who is in Japan as our state guest. Barack and I...
    Its our future | 24-04
  • Shane Jones’ new job raises Ministerial interference questions
    The Public Service Association says the announcement that Labour MP Shane Jones is to move to a new ‘ambassador-level’ role...
    PSA | 24-04
  • Evidence lacking for Northland council amalgamation
    The Public Service Association has told a Local Government Commission hearing in Kaikohe that there is a lack of evidence supporting...
    PSA | 24-04
  • World News Brief, Thursday April 24
    Top of the AgendaObama Navigates Asia-Pacific Security Challenges...
    Pundit | 24-04
  • This is treason, sirs!
    A guest post by Captain Horace Cockwood, RN, on the problems besetting the Labour Party...
    Imperator Fish | 24-04
  • The Beatification of St Jonesy
    This has been even stupider than I thought it would be. The majority of the media commentary regarding Jones has been – as Malcolm Tucker would put it – borderline homoerotic. Morning Report featured Damien O’Connor, Clayton Cosgrove, John Tamihere, Chris...
    DimPost | 24-04
  • Photo of the day – ANZAC
    I don’t know if they’ve done it again this year but this from 2012 was one of my favourite things to happen in Takutai Square Photo are credited to oh.yes.melbourne...
    Transport Blog | 24-04
  • How to become a climate change denier (in 4 easy steps)
    Cartoon drawn by Joshua Cakeburger Drummond as a contribution to the High Water Project, and rooted in bitter experience, I suspect…...
    Hot Topic | 24-04
  • TV3′s The Nation: Antarctica and public understanding of climate change
    A few days have passed since Lisa Owen’s interview with Antarctic scientists Chuck Kennicutt of the US and Gary Wilson of New Zealand on TV3’s The Nation but I hope it’s still worth drawing attention to. Programmes like The Nation...
    Hot Topic | 24-04
  • Shane Gones
    So, Shane Jones is quitting politics.  The reasons given, according to Polity, are because he wants the Labour Party to embrace a wide range of opinions, and that that too many people have opinions he doesn't agree with, like forming...
    Left hand palm | 24-04
  • Australia welches on open government
    Last year, Australia announced that it was joining the Open Government Partnership. But now that Tony Abbott is in charge, they're backing out:THE Abbott government is reconsidering Labor’s pledge to sign Australia up for a major international transparency and citizen...
    No Right Turn | 24-04
  • A counterproductive waste of money
    That's the quick assessment of Britain's participation in the "war on terror":Britain's military operations since the end of the cold war have cost £34.7bn and a further £30bn may have to be spent on long-term veteran care, according to an...
    No Right Turn | 24-04
  • Shane Jones Nationalised
    Shane Jones is on Radio Live as I type this, explaining that he quit politics because he just couldn't be arsed etc.  "No reservoir of energy to..." as he put it.  Ridiculous.  Retirement at 54.  A career beginning and ending...
    Tumeke | 24-04
  • The ICJ orders Australia to stop interfering with witnesses
    Last year, in what was clearly the actions of a guilty government, the Australian government detained a former ASIS agent who was going to testify against them over their bugging of the government of East Timor, raiding his house and...
    No Right Turn | 24-04
  • Here’s what a real bloke sounds like
    Kelvin Davis3 hrs ·...
    Pundit | 24-04
  • So long Shane, thanks for all the ‘fush’
    So Shane Jones is off. Retired from politics he says. Couldn’t give 100 percent to the cause so he did what he thought was best for the Party.Shane Jones has always been a polarising figure and never more so when...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 24-04
  • The benefits of transparency
    Ministerial expenses were released today, and as usual, I spent an hour trawling through the credit card statements hoping to find evidence of Ministers rorting us. So what did I find? Nothing. No $1,000 a night luxury hotel rooms. No...
    No Right Turn | 24-04
  • Christchurch to use Auckland’s old trains?
    As the new electric trains roll out over the coming year or so, a question we don’t know the answer to is what will happen to the old diesel trains Auckland no longer needs. Of course we will need to...
    Transport Blog | 24-04
  • Access: Defective, deficient, deviant and delinquent
    As many NZ babies do, I developed eczema and asthma. My mother took me to various clinicians. I have vague impressions of kindly doctors with strange accents. In retrospect they were probably part of the Jewish diaspora - educated at...
    Public Address | 23-04
  • An FPP politician in an MMP world
    So, now that Shane Jones has gone, he's come clean about the reason: he didn't want to work alongside Russel Norman and the Greens. Which I think emphasises just how much of a throwback Jones was, and how unsuited he...
    No Right Turn | 23-04
  • Hard News: Friday Music: News from talented women
    As I may have noted once or twice, Janine and the Mixtape's Dark Mind EP is one of last year's overlooked local gems. Or perhaps not-so-overlooked now, given that her new video for 'Hold Me' was premiered this week on...
    Public Address | 23-04
  • Focus on housing costs, raise wages not interest rates
    "The increase in the Reserve Bank's interest rate, while expected, shows little imagination and will raise mortgage costs for home owners," says CTU economist Bill Rosenberg. “The focus should be on getting housing costs down, and raising wages to make...
    CTU | 23-04
  • One year on: progress made to prevent another Rana Plaza tragedy
    Date of Release: Thursday, April 24, 2014Body:  An official from one of the two global union bodies that negotiated the Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety, currently visiting New Zealand, says that the Accord continues to make big steps forward to ensure...
    First Union Media | 23-04
  • Update from Dr.Gevil
    We wanted to share with you a little fun....
    Gareth’s World | 23-04
  • Matauri Bay: There are certain stories that get under your skin
    There are certain stories that get under your skin, stories that no matter how many times you hear them somehow strike you in a way that you never forget, stories that become a very part of you. The story of...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 23-04
  • Anit-fluoridation advertising deceptive
     Looks like the scientific fight-back against the misinformation coming from anti-fluoridation groups is having some success. This press release from the on-line Making Sense of Fluoride group. Anti Fluoridation Advertisements Rejected by The Advertising Complaints Authority Over the past week,...
    Open Parachute | 23-04
  • The Art of Letting Go
    via Porcupine Farm   While the big news with regard to the rebuild has been the scaling back of the Arts Precinct, this is just one part of a wider narrative that sees the grand plan unravelling. Since I wrote...
    Rebuilding Christchurch | 23-04
  • Joyce tells Otago to ship in more students
    Tertiary Update Vol 17 No 11 Tertiary education minister Steven Joyce is using threatened changes to university councils to bully the University of Otago to take more international students, says TEU national secretary Sharn...
    TEU | 23-04
  • New money for Māori innovation won’t cover cuts to Māori research
    Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga, New Zealand’s Māori centre of research excellence is welcoming the  government’s decision to invest up to $2.5 million a year over the next two years in Māori-led science and...
    TEU | 23-04
  • UCOL staff given holiday but not pay rise
    UCOL staff got two extra days’ holiday they did not bargain for this week between Easter and Anzac Day, but what they really want is a pay rise. The polytechnic’s chief executive Paul McIlroy said...
    TEU | 23-04
  • Workers Memorial Day 2014
    Please be advised that there are three events planned to commemorate Workers Memorial Day (28 April) in Wellington. The media are invited to attend all three events.What When Photo:  ...
    CTU | 23-04
  • Shane Jones speaks out
    On 3news last night, Shane Jones gave a staged interview where he got some things off his chest. Not exactly a graceful exit, but there you go. Two of the things he said were especially interesting to me. Shane said:...
    Polity | 23-04
  • No Economic Rationale for $760m Warkworth Toll Road
    This is the fifth in a series of posts based on the Campaign for Better Transport’s submission to the Puhoi to Warkworth Board of Inquiry. The full presentation is over at bettertransport.org.nz In this post we look at the economic...
    Transport Blog | 23-04
  • iPredict Ltd 2014 Election Update #15
    Column – iPredict iPredicts 7000 registered traders continue to believe Winston Peters NZ First party will hold the balance of power after the election and allow National to govern. There has been a small gain to Act and the Conservatives...
    Its our future | 23-04
  • Photo of the day – Vulcan Lane
    Vulcan Lane alive with people Photo is credited to oh.yes.melbourne...
    Transport Blog | 23-04
  • Have your say on what Internet rights should look like
    Today I launched my Internet Rights and Freedoms Bill – NZ’s first ever bill crowdsourced by a political party. The launch happened live on Reddit, and I was joined in my office Joy Liddicoat (former Human Rights Commissioner and present...
    frogblog | 23-04
  • Michael Porter on Social Progress
    via CNN, Fareed Zakaria has a fascinating interview with Harvard's Michael Porter, architect of the Social Progress Index that was launched to great fanfare a little while back. New Zealand won the top rank in that index, and Porter's main...
    Polity | 23-04
  • Time running out to save uni councils
    There’s only a week left to have your say on the Government’s changes to university and wānanga councils. Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce has put forward dramatic changes to the way uni and wānanga councils are made up – removing...
    frogblog | 23-04
  • Another reason why we need an enforceable BORA
    Back in 2003, the then-Labour government, faced with the "threat" of an unpopular child-sex offender being released from prison at the end of their sentance, enacted the Parole (Extended Supervision) and Sentencing Amendment Act, allowing them to be detained for...
    No Right Turn | 23-04
  • Govt response to alcohol report simplistic
    The Government's response to a Ministry of Justice report on minimum alcohol pricing is simplistic and turns its back on those who are most susceptible to alcohol marketing promoting greater consumption, Labour's Justice spokesperson Andrew Little says. "The Ministry's report...
    Labour | 25-04
  • Govt fails Southern Cross Forest workers
    The Government's failure to deal with problems in the wood processing industry has resulted in more needless job losses, Green Party forestry spokesperson Steffan Browning said today.Southern Cross Forest Products announcement of another sawmill closure brings the tally of closures...
    Greens | 24-04
  • Humiliation for Government in Chinese dictat
    New Zealand’s food safety systems should be respected by our trading partners, but instead the Government has been humiliated with the Chinese dictating the terms of our infant formula production, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says.   “The Government...
    Labour | 24-04
  • Honouring our Pacific soldiers
    Labour’s Pacific Affairs spokesperson and MP for Mangere, Su’a William Sio, will pay a special tribute to the many Pacific Islanders who fought in the New Zealand Armed Forces during the First World War in a speech he is giving...
    Labour | 24-04
  • Government inaction on power and housing to blame for latest rate rise
    Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei says today's interest rate rise, that will hit home owners and businesses, is a consequence of the government's failure to get a grip on electricity prices and the property market, particularly in Auckland."The Green Party...
    Greens | 23-04
  • Rate rise not needed if Government was doing its job
    Today’s interest rate rise wouldn’t have been necessary if the Government had been doing its job properly and targeting the sources of inflation, Labour says. “New Zealand interest rates are among the highest in the world, putting more and more...
    Labour | 23-04
  • Real independence needed in food safety
    The Green Party are calling for a truly independent body to regulate our food safety.Food safety Minister Nikki Kaye has announced the establishment of a Food Safety and Assurance Advisory Council as part of the Government's response to last year's...
    Greens | 23-04
  • Another report won’t help the East Coast
    The Government has a critical role to play in regional development on the East Coast says Gisborne-based Labour MP Moana Mackey “The release of the East Coast Regional Economic Potential Study highlights a number of areas of strength and weakness...
    Labour | 23-04
  • Another interest rate hike will punish mortgage holders
    Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei says another interest rate hike on Thursday will cost home owners an extra $25 a month on a $250,000 mortgage, on top of the $25 dollars a month from the previous rates rise, and she...
    Greens | 23-04
  • Green Party launches Internet Rights and Freedoms Bill
    The Green Party has today launched the Internet Rights and Freedoms Bill, New Zealand's first ever Bill crowdsourced by a political party.Members of the public will be invited to shape the proposed law, which will protect ten basic rights and...
    Greens | 23-04
  • Sanil Kumar has to leave New Zealand tomorrow
    The Associate Minister of Immigration Nikki Kaye’s decision not to intervene means kidney transplant patient Sanil Kumar must leave New Zealand by tomorrow, says Labour’s Immigration spokesperson Rajen Prasad. “Kumar, a plumber and sheet metal worker, was on a work visa...
    Labour | 22-04
  • Time to do the right thing for our veterans
    A Labour government will adopt the Law Commission’s recommendation to ensure all war veterans are eligible for a Veteran’s Pension, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Veterans are only eligible for the pension if they are considered ‘significantly’ disabled, or more...
    Labour | 22-04
  • Public servant is owed an apology
    Nigel Fyfe is owed an apology from the State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie and Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully, says Labour's State Services spokesperson, Maryan Street. “The former MFAT official has now been restored to a position in the Ministry...
    Labour | 22-04
  • Laws for enforcing not trading off
    The idea that a Government department can give a nod and a wink to traders that it won’t enforce shop trading laws and for a Government MP to then claim it as grounds for a review of the law is...
    Labour | 21-04
  • Kiwis still paying too much for ACC
    Kiwis are still paying too much for ACC so that the National Government can balance its books, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “ACC Minister Judith Collins told Cabinet levies were too high but ACC’s proposed cuts would impact the...
    Labour | 21-04
  • Collins’ memory recovery raises further concerns
    Judith Collins sudden memory of briefing the New Zealand Ambassador to China about her dinner with a Chinese border official and her husband's fellow Oravida directors raises further concerns about exactly what was discussed, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. "This...
    Labour | 21-04
  • MP to attend progressive politics conference
    Labour MP Grant Robertson will attend the Progressive Governance conference in Amsterdam later this week. “This conference brings together Social Democratic parties from around the world to discuss how progressive politics should work in the post global financial crisis environment....
    Labour | 20-04
  • Storm fans fire service commitment
    Further damage from the huge storm that battered the West Coast was prevented by the great work of our volunteer Fire Service and locals will be extremely grateful, Labour’s MP for West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says. “Our region has been...
    Labour | 19-04
  • Time for Ryall to fix mistakes and help families
    Families who won a long and lengthy Court battle for financial help to support their disabled daughters and sons are now facing a new battle with health system bureaucracy and need the Health Minister's help, Labour's Disability Issues spokesperson Ruth...
    Labour | 18-04
  • Time for greater ministerial accountability
    The Green Party has today released a proposal to introduce a ministerial disclosure regime in New Zealand to improve the transparency and accountability of government.The proposal, based on the system used in the United Kingdom since 2010, would require all...
    Greens | 18-04
  • Power prices soar on the eve of winter
    On the eve of winter as New Zealanders are turning on their heaters, power prices have soared sky high, Labour’s Energy spokesperson David Shearer says. “Energy Minster Simon Bridges claimed in Parliament that prices were estimated to rise 2.4 per...
    Labour | 18-04
  • Workers can kiss goodbye to Easter Sunday off
    The Government’s decision to “reprioritise” scarce labour inspector resources by abandoning the enforcement of Easter Sunday Shop Trading laws means workers can kiss goodbye to a guaranteed day off, says Labour’s Associate Labour Issues spokesperson Darien Fenton. “The Labour Minister...
    Labour | 18-04
  • Businesses need to respect workers this Easter
    Businesses intent on flouting Easter shopping laws should face stiff penalties, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today. This Easter, at least one major garden centre chain intends to open on Good Friday despite this being in breach...
    Greens | 17-04
  • Time to deliver on 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave
    Today marks two years since Labour MP Sue Moroney's Bill extending paid parental leave to 26 weeks was drawn from the members' ballot. “It’s time the Government acted in the interests of families,” Sue Moroney says. “National has tried every...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Taxpayers robbed of $130m in Genesis sale
    Kiwi taxpayers have been robbed of $130 million by the Government in its final failed asset sale, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “National set the price for Genesis far too low in a desperate attempt to beef up demand....
    Labour | 17-04
  • Work visa problems need monitoring
    The Government is handing out temporary work visas to migrants to work in jobs that could easily be filled by unemployed Kiwi workers in the Christchurch rebuild, says Darien Fenton, Labour’s Associate Immigration spokesperson. “In the past 12 months, temporary...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Resignation rates among cops soar
    The number of frontline officers quitting the police force is at a four-year high, with more than 350 walking off the job in the past year, Labour’s Police spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Since 2009 resignation rates among sworn staff have...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Service for victims of sexual violence pushed out in cold
    The Green Party is calling on Housing New Zealand to revisit its decision to evict an essential community organisation in Christchurch with only eight weeks notice.Yesterday at the Select Committee inquiry into funding for sexual violence support services the organisation...
    Greens | 17-04
  • Legal high ban worthy of wider pick-up
    Auckland Council’s ban on using legal highs in a public place is an excellent idea that should be replicated around New Zealand, says Labour’s Associate Health Spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Auckland Council has implemented a by-law banning the use of psychoactive...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers
    Nick Smith must reassure worried first home buyers that any Housing NZ houses sold under his First Home policy will be tested for P contamination after revelations that three out of seven properties sold in Wanganui tested positive for methamphetamine,...
    Labour | 17-04
  • PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra
    Questions must now be asked whether it was Fonterra or Oravida who really benefited from the Prime Minister’s recent visit to China, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “Before his departure, John Key said he would wait until all...
    Labour | 16-04
  • New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases
    A new Government report highlights that the amount of ozone depleting gases New Zealand is using is increasing, the Green Party said today.The report tabled in Parliament yesterday shows that total use of ozone depleting gases in New Zealand has...
    Greens | 16-04
  • Manufacturing Upgrade
    Labour is determined to support and grow our manufacturing sector. These policies grew out of the findings of the 2013 Parliamentary Inquiry into Manufacturing.  ...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Collins must admit misleading Parliament
    ACC Minister Judith Collins must front up and admit she has misled Parliament over ACC’s policy to stop paying compensation to clients who refused to fill in its privacy form, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “Judith Collins claimed Labour...
    Labour | 16-04
  • English confirms he has no plan to raise wages