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Greenpeace isn’t a charity, it’s a necessity

Written By: - Date published: 6:05 am, March 22nd, 2018 - 51 comments
Categories: Environment - Tags: ,

Greenpeace Press release – March 21, 2018:

_______________________________________________________________________

Greenpeace Executive Director, Dr Russel Norman, says the Charities Board decision not to grant the environmental organisation charity status is unsurprising given that the Board has resolutely opposed Greenpeace’s application all along, in spite of previously losing the battle in the Supreme Court.

“In a world facing catastrophic climate change and out of control water pollution, Greenpeace is a necessity, regardless of whether or not these three people on the Charities Board, appointed by the previous Government, agree with our advocacy,” he says.

“We are a proud independent environmental campaigning organisation that doesn’t take money from corporations or governments.

“We’re an organisation with the sole purpose of serving public interest by advocating for the environment that we’re all part of and depend upon. It speaks volumes about the values of the Charities Board that it believes that advocacy to save the planet from climate destruction doesn’t serve a charitable purpose.

“The Charities Board case has been a seven-year saga, which has bounced from the High Court, to the Court of Appeal, to the Supreme Court, and then back to the Charities Board.

“The Supreme Court found that the Charities Board had got it wrong by declining Greenpeace’s application, and it directed the Board to reconsider Greenpeace’s application. But then the Charities Board just came up with a new shopping list of reasons for declining the application.

“The Supreme Court held that advocacy could be charitable. This decision today has essentially found that advocating for climate change action and clean rivers is not charitable, so it is hard to see what is acceptable advocacy. This will have a chilling effect right across the charitable sector and a negative impact on the quality of our democracy. Advocacy promoting different points of view is an essential part of of a healthy democracy.

“The new Government will need to look at this decision and this law, and decide whether they need to reform it to encourage democracy and advocacy, rather than discourage it.

“Like any NGO, we have to make the most of our limited resources and pick our battles. We are reviewing the decision and will decide the next steps in due course.

“It’s also important to remember that this decision has no impact on our donee status, so any donations will continue to be tax deductible for our supporters.

“Greenpeace may not be viewed a charity, but it is a necessity. In practice, the Board’s decision doesn’t change anything. We’re going to get on with doing the work that is a vital part of any democratic society: Advocating for our environment, and all of the people and creatures that call this planet home.”

51 comments on “Greenpeace isn’t a charity, it’s a necessity ”

  1. cleangreen 1

    This is a challenge to Shane jones as our “champion of all our provinces” and GreenPeace;

    I agree Greenpeace is a necessity so I contribute and encourage anyone who wants to hold authorities accountable for environmental issues should contribute also.

    Thank you for your hard work and diligence to keep authorities accountable.

    Our SOE Kiwirail is now in need of serious investigation as it has also a bad CEO in need of being replaced by a real rail engineer and not just a patsy for the previous National Government who hated using rail to lower the climate change emissions.

    National encouraged closing regional rail freight in favour of using road freight which is seriously degrading our air and water quality and causing public health injuries, and this current Labour Government under labour are not yet radically increasing any regional rail freight use to meet their future climate change emissions target that government have signed up to by 2035-50 as a carbon neutral policy.

    Save the Gisborne rail service as it is not being considered for inclusion by Labour yet.

    Kiwirail CEO Peter reidy must go as he is not supporting labour coalition plans to use rail freight policy in line with the Labour party’s 2005-15 “National rail strategy” to connect all ports to rail services to lower climate change emissions.

    http://www.transport.govt.nz/assets/Import/Documents/nationalrailstrategy.pdf

    QUOTE from ISBN 0-478-10005-1 Forward from Pete Hodgson 2005 as Minister of Transport.

    “Now we have brought New Zealand’s rail infrastructure back into public ownership, and the vision and objectives of the New Zealand Transport Strategy will be applied to New Zealand’s railway network.

    Through the National Rail Strategy, the Government is demonstrating its commitment to retaining the existing network; to investigating the development of a number of new railway lines; and to maximising the use of rail transport. The aim is to move people out of cars for urban journeys, and freight off roads, wherever possible. For freight this means a focus on bulk or containerised loads, including traffic such as milk or logs. For passengers it means a focus on busy urban corridors in the larger centres, and using smart thinking to manage congestion.

    This is an exciting time in New Zealand transport, with a dynamic vision beginning to achieve real results, working towards an affordable, integrated, safe, responsive, and sustainable transport system. The Labour Progressive government acknowledges the contribution of the Green Party to the development of this Strategy, and both the Green Party and the United Party’s support of the government’s transport policy.

    Hon Pete Hodgson”
    Minister of Transport 2005

    • One Anonymous Bloke 1.1

      The Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector is the Hon. Peeni Henare.

      • adam 1.1.1

        Sheesh One Anonymous Bloke you just given an MP more airtime than he has had in a while.

        • veutoviper 1.1.1.1

          Sheesh adam, although not directly in his capacity as Minister for the Community and Volunteer Sector, Henare had plenty of airtime over the Waitangi Day period which was only six weeks ago.

          OTOH the Waitangi celebrations were partly about community and the Labour and Green MPs who served up breakfast for hundreds could be considered a form of volunteering… Doubt that is in their formal job descriptions.

          • adam 1.1.1.1.1

            Sheesh at $288,900 a year plus perks and your talking about MP charity.

            Must be nice to be at the trough.

            Seeing as it this guy.

            https://www.maoritelevision.com/news/regional/peeni-henare-says-maori-party-greens-living-wage-promise-unrealistic

            • Sabine 1.1.1.1.1.1

              what do the National MP’s say about living wage? Cause i think they said fuck that over the 9 years they were serving until they got voted out in Septemer 2018, right? I also believe they would have earned the same amount of money right?

              Or is earning money without working a thing that is only valid for National MP’s? 🙂

              • adam

                Oh dear, the national party did it too argument. I’d hoped we wouldn’t see that form the labour party hacks. Oh well too much to hope for from a purist like me.

            • veutoviper 1.1.1.1.1.2

              adam, Henare said in that video that he considered the Green and Maori Party promises of implementing a living wage were unrealistic at present; he did not say that he was ideologically opposed to a living wage.

              I find it interesting that you used that particular article from Maori Television as I found a number of articles by them on the Tamaki Makaurau electorate and the candidates debate – including another one on Henare’s comments on the proposal put up by Taurima and Davidson on the need for a living wage.

              This other one was much more explicit as to what Henare said and states that ”Asked if his party supported this view, Labour’s Peeni Henare emphasised that a planned approach was required involving a lift in the economy. “It’s going to cost money and we’ve got to have a plan to do that. Of course, we want to lift wages, we’re the Labour Party.”
              http://www.maoritelevision.com/news/regional/special-auckland-wage-needed-live-nzs-largest-cityIn

              Maori Television played up the role that the undecided were expected to play in the final result for the Electorate in these two article/videos – the first on 19 Sept 2017 and the second on 21 Sept 2017:
              https://www.maoritelevision.com/news/regional/election-aotearoa-tamaki-makaurau-candidates-respond-poll-results
              https://www.maoritelevision.com/news/regional/undecided-could-decide-auckland-maori-seat

              On Election Day itself, obviously the majority of voters in the Tamaki Makaurau electorate supported Henare overall; and presumably most of them knew his views on this issue.

              Henare’s 2017 Electorate vote of 9396 exceeded that of Taurima (MP) of 5,587 by 3,809 votes; and Davidson’s vote of 4268 by 5128 votes. Pretty decisive. This compares with Henare’s 2014 Electorate vote result of 7533 when he exceeded McLean’s (MP) vote of 6071 by 1462 votes; Davidson’s (GP) vote of 3136 by 4397 votes, and Pene’s (Mana) vote of 2624 by 4909 votes.

              In terms of the Party vote, in 2017 Labour also won decisively with 12,220 votes compared to 2258 for the MP, 1963 for NZF, 1490 for the Green Party, and 1348 for National. The Party vote was much closer in 2014 – Labour 8432; Maori 2651; NZF 2914; Green 2438; Mana 2234; and National last with 1574.

              The Maori, Green and National Parties all lost Party votes in 2017 (while Labour was up by 3788 votes) with each down by the following compared to their 2014 Party vote: Maori – 393: Greens – 948; National – 227. [Note: doesn’t include Mana which did not run in 2017 or other candidates/small parties.]

              So, if you have a beef re Henare winning the Tamaki Makaurau seat again in 2017 and not your preferred candidate of Taurima or Davidson, then I suggest you take it up with the voters of the Electorate, and stop trying to dirty Henare’s name and mana.

              • adam

                I’m not dirting anyone, just saying in the media I mainly follow, he is rather absent. When a list MP gets a whole lot more air time. Both live in Auckland, and both sit at the cabinet table.

                Just an observation.

                And yet you write an essay again…

    • Ad 1.2

      The new Transport Government Policy Statement (GPS) is due out next week.

      You will get their rail direction from there.

  2. dukeofurl 2

    “The members of the Charities Registration Board are Roger Holmes Miller (chair), Caren Rangi, and Simon Karipa.”
    Holmes is a leading Wellington lawyer.

    Staggered that the Supreme Court told the Charities Board to ‘reconsider’, in legal terms they said they got it wrong, and they still get refused, of course this how some would say the ‘Deep State’ always works

    • Sparky 2.1

      +1.

    • savenz 2.2

      Another fucking Lawyer. No wonder NZ productivity so low, arrogant asses who create litigation to help their mates grow even richer off the public purse.

      Has anyone done an OIA on how much and who got all the money for the litigation to pretend Greenpeace is not a charity?

      Supreme Court disagree, but another Fucking Lawyer wants to keep rolling mates litigation into the trough.

  3. Sparky 3

    Deplorable. Yet another reason why I do not trust govt or its various mechanisms.

  4. dukeofurl 4

    Interesting details from The Charities Board decision

    The Board considers Greenpeace does not qualify for registration for two main grounds:

    Greenpeace promotes its points of view on the environment and other issues in ways that cannot be found to be for the benefit of the public.
    Greenpeace and its members’ involvement in illegal activities amounts to an illegal purpose which disqualifies it from registration.

    https://www.charities.govt.nz/charities-in-new-zealand/legal-decisions/view-the-decisions/view/greenpeace-of-new-zealand-incorporated-2

    Involvement in illegal activities ? Even the Police do that, let alone a closer look at many government departments, councils etc

    And its beef with the ‘advocacy issue’, its gets to the heart of the matter here

    “The Board considers that Greenpeace’s focus is on advocating its point of view on environmental issues such fossil fuel exploration and the expansion of intensive dairy farming. …”

    cant step on those toes …no siree

    • alwyn 4.1

      “Involvement in illegal activities ? Even the Police do that, let alone a closer look at many government departments, councils etc”
      Since the point of this material is that Greenpeace should, or should not be registered as a Charity this comment would only be relevant if you cab show that one or more of these is allowed to register as a Charity.
      Can you tell us whether the Police are so registered?
      What Government Departments are registered as a Charity.
      What Councils are registered as Charities?
      For any that are so registered, what criminal activities are they involved in?

      • dukeofurl 4.1.1

        You raise an interesting point, a charity has to act legally at all times but no so provision is in the Policing Act 2008

        instead we have this
        Principles
        This Act is based on the following principles:
        (a)
        principled, effective, and efficient policing services are a cornerstone of a free and democratic society under the rule of law:
        (b)
        effective policing relies on a wide measure of public support and confidence:
        (c)
        policing services are provided under a national framework but also have a local community focus:
        (d)
        policing services are provided in a manner that respects human rights:
        (e)
        policing services are provided independently and impartially:
        (f)
        in providing policing services every Police employee is required to act professionally, ethically, and with integrity.

        Nowhere is that important word ‘lawfully’
        http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/2008/0072/79.0/DLM1102186.html

        • savenz 4.1.1.1

          The reality is that the people who fought for any change were always considered illegal and bad people.

          Women getting the vote.

          Ending slavery.

          The people who fought for a 40 hours working week, were labeled terrorists.

          Simplistic argument from a simple mind of the fat cat charities board.

          • alwyn 4.1.1.1.1

            Don’t you dare connect these two phrases.
            “people who fought for any change were always considered illegal and bad people” and “Women getting the vote”.
            My great-grandmother was a fine woman. Or so my mother told me.

            • dukeofurl 4.1.1.1.1.1

              Suffragettes, they or their supporters did have a campaign of violence and bombings.
              Greenpeace seems to merely ‘protest by trespass’ at that

        • alwyn 4.1.1.2

          I find that quite funny, although I suppose it would be claimed that the words “principled”, ethically” and “with integrity” are meant to imply that they must obey the law.

          I wonder if there is anything in the Cabinet Manual that says they have to behave in a “lawful” manner?

          • dukeofurl 4.1.1.2.1

            No it doesnt.
            Principled, ethically, integrity can mean what ever you want it. they are soft words
            Lawfully is a hard meaning which its obvious they have deliberately skirted around.

    • tracey 4.2

      The police are not seeking charitable status

    • Gabby 4.3

      They’ll be going after that National Party charity Sir Ponyboy donates to, just you wait. And wait.

  5. Eralc 5

    “The new Government will need to look at this decision and this law, and decide whether they need to reform it to encourage democracy and advocacy, rather than discourage it”. -Dr Russel Norman

    This is another issue where Ardern could say her Government is “actively considering” the issue. Greenpeace is not likely to buy that given her back pedaling on what she meant by “actively considering” in relation to ending oil and gas exploration.

    • dukeofurl 5.1

      Which part of labour + Greens is NOT a majority in parliament dont you understand ?
      if the Greens were closer to 10% rather than 5% I wouldnt have to remind you.

      • alwyn 5.1.1

        You probably would have to remind him anyway.
        From the way the party votes seemed to shift at the last election I would think that if the Green Party had got 4% more, ie the 10% you mention, then Labour would have been 4% less. I think Green votes may have shifted to Labour but not to any of the other parties.

        • dukeofurl 5.1.1.1

          nationals ( larger) vote went down too, your simple ‘moving the blocks around’ doesnt really work

          • alwyn 5.1.1.1.1

            I don’t dispute that at all. I am quite happy to agree that some National votes went to Labour. However I never claimed that Labour’s only new source of votes was the Greens.
            I very much doubt that the Green Party lost votes at the last election to anyone but Labour. I don’t really think that very many of their drop in votes received went to National, NZF or ACT.

            • dukeofurl 5.1.1.1.1.1

              Luckily the votes for an electorate like Epsom can test your hypothesis

              Green party vote
              2017 3200 8.4% well above national average
              2014 4700 12.5% close to national average
              Labour party vote
              2017 9500
              2104 5000
              national party vote
              2017 22800
              2014 23900
              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epsom_(New_Zealand_electorate)

              • alwyn

                I don’t think it says anything for or against what I was suggesting.

                What I was saying is this.
                Suppose that the Green Party vote hadn’t changed. They would have got 4700 in 2017 as well.
                Then the Labour Party wouldn’t have got 9500 in the 2017 election. They would have only got 8000.

                I don’t actually see how you could test my theory from any of the published results. The only way to do it would be something like.
                Poll people and find those who voted Green in 2014 but not 2017.
                Ask them who they did vote for in 2017. I think, although obviously I can’t know, that they would overwhelmingly say they had switched to Labour.
                If that is the case I would say it showed that if the Greens had done better it would imply that Labour would not have done as well as they did.

  6. savenz 6

    It’s simple if Labour, Greens and NZ First want to get more votes, they need to advocate for the NZ people who vote for them.

    It’s become normal for ‘labour’ governments to take a authoritarian approach -‘ we know what is best little people’.

    Funny enough, that approach is not popular.

    But due to firms like Cambridge Analytics there is so much psychological warfare going on that many of the powerful from all political groups all believe the same fake facts even if there is clear evidence that they are not true!

    Entrenched views such as,

    The free market is best.

    Globalism is the best way of the future and letting corporations dictate the shape and feel of globalism is the only way (by using free market logic above that the market is better than people).

    Trickle down will work.

    etc etc.

  7. Ad 7

    Forest and Bird have figured out how to do it.

    And Ministers and Departments pay them respect.

    Greenpeace need to reflect on the decision and on the successful NGO’s operating here.

    • weka 7.1

      I think we need both. F and B aren’t doing direct action, Greenpeace are. Without direct action, we would be left with the powers talking to each other and not listening to the important stuff.

      • dukeofurl 7.1.1

        Its usually a sort of trespass, which I dont think a conviction is even obtained.

      • Ad 7.1.2

        We do need both – not the point.

        There’s not too much more direct than taking on the Crown in the High and Supreme courts about the Hawkes Bay Dam and Buller dam etc and winning multiple times.

        The point is Greenpeace need to accept they have lost, and alter their membership, funding, legal, and governance structures from this decision.

        • weka 7.1.2.1

          F and B are very good at what they do but that’s not the kind of direct action I meant. You can’t do what F and B do and blockade ships harpooning whales. F and B are not a direct action group. This is what I mean about needing both. If Greenpeace were to be what F and B is, they would stop being a direct action group and we would not have those actions. If you think that those direct actions aren’t needed you can make that argument, but it’s a different argument than saying we have both kinds of organisations.

          • Ad 7.1.2.1.1

            You’re a bit clearer.

            It’s not the law that needs changing.
            Structurally, it’s Greenpeace that needs to change.

            I’d hope Norman will get over it and do that. If he can’t then for the good of the organisation he should leave.

            He’s held this administrative fight for far too long and his media release shows that.

            The comparison of the two orgs is useful to the activist base because the two leaders were Green MPs going into ngo executive roles.

            • savenz 7.1.2.1.1.1

              I think it shows more the hypocrisy and persecution of any organisation that interfere in the exploitation of natural resources… which even our government seems to think is an excellent idea and happy to sell NZ out with the added advantage of a TPPA guarantee. .

              “Take for example the Government’s recent decision to extend New Zealand Oil & Gas’ existing deep water exploration permit off the coast of Oamaru. A spokesperson for the Minister for Energy and Resources Dr. Megan Woods noted that “under current policy settings … a different decision could have resulted in a judicial review”, however the Crown Minerals Act is subject to an upcoming review.

              NZ Oil & Gas is no mom-and-pop local business; it’s owned by a Singaporean subsidiary of the Ofer Global Group, an international network of companies owned by a Monaco-based Israeli billionaire. If the review to our legal framework around drilling permits affects their potential profitability, then they may well be within their rights lodging proceedings in a shady private tribunal whose awards (sometimes stretching into the billions) supersede our own national courts.”

        • RJL 7.1.2.2

          I don’t know. Continuing to fight this keeps both Greenpeace and therefore the issues that they campaign for in the news.

          Which is effectively the whole point of Greenpeace.

          Whenever the media reads and publicises a Greenpeace press release and / or a corporate / government response, then Greenpeace is winning.

    • savenz 7.2

      Maybe that is why our forests and birds are declining at an alarming rate…. direct action is needed.

      Look at Rainbow Warrior and no nukes, even Labour use them if it is a convenient sound byte to further their cause.

  8. …yet SaveMart gets to be a charity, and internationally you have IKEA..what a world

  9. Anon 9

    Greenpeace are anti GMO and anti glyphosate, so hardly science based rational environmental advocacy in the public good. They should get whatever status cults get.

    • Drowsy M. Kram 9.1

      Trying to maintain unnatural ecosystems is a losing battle – just another opportunity for natural evolution. The main difference between antibiotic resistance and herbicide resistance is the generation time of target species.

      “By 2016 there was a 100-fold increase from the late 1970s in the frequency of application and volume of glyphosate-based herbicides (GBHs) applied, with further increases expected in the future, partly in response to the global emergence and spread of glyphosate-resistant weeds.

      We conclude that:
      (1) GBHs are the most heavily applied herbicide in the world and usage continues to rise;
      (2) Worldwide, GBHs often contaminate drinking water sources, precipitation, and air, especially in agricultural regions;
      (3) The half-life of glyphosate in water and soil is longer than previously recognized;
      (4) Glyphosate and its metabolites are widely present in the global soybean supply;
      (5) Human exposures to GBHs are rising;
      (6) Glyphosate is now authoritatively classified as a probable human carcinogen;
      (7) Regulatory estimates of tolerable daily intakes for glyphosate in the United States and European Union are based on outdated science.

      As it has been for many other species in recent times, so is it now the end of the golden weather for humanity; the 21st century is our bottleneck. Greenpeace is raising awareness, proposing solutions, and holding transnational corporates to account. All thankless tasks – how can Greenpeace even be bothered if Anon isn’t?

      http://peakoilbarrel.com/confessions-of-a-doomer/ (includes interesting replies)


      Interview with William R. Catton, Jr. (Aug. 2008)

  10. savenz 10

    The Clinton Foundation is a charity. So I think is, Scientology. Funny how selective people are on what charity they think is doing public good…

    • Anon 10.1

      I don’t know what the Clinton Foundation is, but churches get automatic charity status – and I agree that they shouldn’t.

  11. SPC 11

    A quite Russian decision, where foreign funding has been banned.

    It would appear that charity is being re-defined as work by the haves to trickle down wealth to the have nots (as an alternative to taxpayer funded welfare), and where activism for the public good is seen as political action (getting in the way of the haves increasing their wealth) and not a charitable activity.

  12. savenz 12

    A move to decline Greenpeace’s bid to be a charity has been labelled the wrong move.

    The independent Charities Registration Board says the organisation does not exclusively advance charitable purposes, bur rather promotes its own particular views about the environment and other issues.

    However, it’s a decision made after a 2014 Supreme Court ruling in Greenpeace’s favour, after it was refused charitable status by the now defunct Charities Commission.

    Charity law specialist Sue Barker says the decision is a total misapplication of the law.

    “In my view, the community should be outraged that charities like this are being subjected to this.”

    http://www.newstalkzb.co.nz/on-air/larry-williams-drive/audio/sue-parker-people-should-be-outraged-by-greenpeace-being-denied-charity-status/

  13. Jenny 13

    “Vital Part of Any Democratic Society”

    “Greenpeace may not be viewed a charity, but it is a necessity. In practice, the Board’s decision doesn’t change anything. We’re going to get on with doing the work that is a vital part of any democratic society: Advocating for our environment, and all of the people and creatures that call this planet home.”

    Democracy is more than just having the right to vote for a government, every 3 or 4 years, that may or may not listen to your interests in the interim, or even keep its election pledges.

    If democracy means anything at all, it means more than having the right to vote, it means having the right right to speak out, it means having the right to protest.

    Currently in NZ, (and around the world) the right to protest is under threat.

    The Greenpeace organisation is not just being attacked in the courts over its charity status, Greenpeace is being attacked by the oil companies and the reactionary conservative establishment, for exercising the right right to protest, in violation of the the Andarko Amendment.

    Next month the director of Greenpeace Russel Norman, and his co-accused Sarah Howel will face charges brought under the Andarko Amendment.

    Next Sunday is the anniversary of the Andarko Amendment. As is traditional with such things, this reactionary and anti-democratic piece of legislation was enacted over a holiday weekend.

    “DEFEND THE RIGHT TO PEACEFUL PROTEST AT SEA”

    The New Zealand Government is pandering to the interests of foreign oil companies by pushing through a new law to criminalise certain crucial rights to peaceful protest at sea. Rights that helped us to become a nuclear free nation and end nuclear testing in the Pacific.

    Designed to benefit foreign oil companies and penalise ordinary New Zealanders, the ‘Anadarko Amendment’ was announced on Easter Sunday by Energy Minister Simon Bridges. It will not be open to consultation or vetting for breaches of the Bill of Rights.

    It is an affront to New Zealand’s democracy, and to our long held right and proud tradition of peaceful protest at sea.

    Greenpeace

    https://act.greenpeace.org/ea-action/action?ea.client.id=1939&ea.campaign.id=44487

    Next month the director of Greenpeace, Russel Norman, and his co-accused Sarah Howel face criminal charges for committing offences against the Andarko Amendment.

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