Nats all at sea on whaling

Written By: - Date published: 9:18 pm, March 18th, 2010 - 14 comments
Categories: Conservation, john key, slippery - Tags: , ,

Demeter has already covered the Kaikoura Star article in which John Key says commercial whaling “might be acceptable if it was acceptable to others”. You gotta love the leadership there: ‘These are my principles and if you don’t like them, I have others’.

But you’ve also got to question what kind of two-faced game the Nats are playing because in the House, Murray McCully said precisely the opposite:

Hon CHRIS CARTER (Labour—Te Atatū) to the Minister of Foreign Affairs: Does the Government support the reintroduction of any commercial whaling?

Hon MURRAY McCULLY (Minister of Foreign Affairs) : No.

Hon Chris Carter: When the Prime Minister said on 13 January that he had an initiative to end Japanese whaling, was the proposal to legalise commercial whaling the solution that he was talking about; if not, what was the Prime Minister’s mysterious initiative?

Hon MURRAY McCULLY: The Prime Minister would have been referring to the New Zealand Government’s policy … to seek the elimination of whaling in the Southern Ocean as quickly as possible.

….Hon Chris Carter: Did the Prime Minister actually announce a new initiative on 13 January, as quoted in the media, or is it simply a continuation of existing policies?

Hon MURRAY McCULLY: I do not have the reference in front of me at the moment, but my very clear recollection is that the Prime Minister was referring to the New Zealand Government’s policy, which is to actively participate in the diplomatic process of the International Whaling Commission to seek the elimination of whaling in the Southern Ocean.

….Hon Chris Carter: Was the proposal that the Prime Minister raised on 13 January as a bold new initiative—and that he was going to share with Hillary Clinton, the US Secretary of State, who was due to arrive the following day—the same policy that the previous Government was pursuing, or was it a return to limited commercial whaling?

Hon MURRAY McCULLY: ….The policy that the Prime Minister and this Government are pursuing is one of using that diplomatic process to try to achieve an elimination of whaling in the Southern Ocean at the earliest possible time.

Hon Chris Carter: Does the Minister agree with John Key, who was quoted in the Kaikoura Star yesterday as saying that commercial whaling ‘might be acceptable if it was acceptable to others.’, and can the Minister confirm that both Britain and Australia have expressed opposition to this proposal to offer a limited return to commercial whaling but Japan has welcomed it?

Hon MURRAY McCULLY: I can confirm that Sir Geoffrey Palmer is one of those exploring a range of solutions in the International Whaling Commission process at the present time. The Government of New Zealand has not given Sir Geoffrey any mandate to accept anything other than the previous policies adopted by the Government of which that member was a Minister.

Hon Chris Carter: I seek leave to table a list of the names of 3,188 people, who in the last 6 days have expressed their opposition to the restart of commercial whaling by New Zealand.

Excellently done by Carter. If only he had made the killer question “Does the Minister agree with John Key, who was quoted in the Kaikoura Star yesterday as saying that commercial whaling ‘might be acceptable if it was acceptable to others.” a one-barrel question so McCully couldn’t have avoided answering.

It looks like National are up to their old tricks. You’ll remember that John Key was caught out on his “we would love to see wages drop” quote by a journo from the Bay Report (a free weekly in Northland) who was at a small meeting, and whom Key claims not to have known was a journo. The same kind of thing is happening here. The true game is revealed to select audiences out of earshot of the press gallery while a moderate face and a grin is maintained for the cameras.

But you can’t keep that up forever. At some point Key will have to publicly say yes or no to the deal on commercial whaling. Then the fur will fly.

And here’s a comment on Stuff that I would hope makes our Minister for Overseas Holidays Tourism stop and think:

Paul Fortin #3   02:24 pm Mar 18 2010

As a senior from Canada who is planning a long trip next year to Australia, New Zealand and several other countries in the area, I am now seriously considering dropping New Zealand from my itinerary. I love New Zealand and Australia for their strong anti-whaling position. However, just as I think no one should visit Canada as a tourist, so long as Canada continues to slaughter defenceless baby seals despite the majority of Canadians being against this travesty, I will not visit New Zealand if it has a government that supports commercial whaling, even if most of New Zealand’s citizens are against whaling.”

14 comments on “Nats all at sea on whaling”

  1. Bored 1

    We get the point that the NACTS are a confused disjointed rabble, they do seem however to be dreadfully focused and dangerous rabble when it comes to the environment. It just isnt safe being an endangered species or tract of preserved environment with these criminal reprobates having power.

    So if you right wing apologists wonder why any reasonable person who respects the rights of other life forms would declare an open season of Jonkeys donkeys…..look no further

  2. This issue had a good thrash previously. I and many others thought that in January Key had a possible solution. He said that he had a plan which if accepted would solve the issue and hinted that there was Japanese buy in.

    It turns out that he was full of s*&t. The “stunning plan” was nothing more than the reintroduction of commercial whaling and the hope that it would eventually be curtailed, presumably before the various species of whales were made extinct. There is one thing that he said that I agree with:

    “Either the diplomatic solution is going to be a stunning success in the next few months or it’s going to be a stunning failure”.

    Guess which one it is going to be …

  3. Neil 3

    McCully –

    “The Government of New Zealand has not given Sir Geoffrey any mandate to accept anything other than the previous policies adopted by the Government of which that member was a Minister.”

    what ever you think of Palmer’s proposal these negotiations with Japan started under Carter. so it’s a little odd that Carter is now taking such a different line.

    • Marty G 3.1

      Negotiations, yes. Agreeing to commercial whaling, no.


      • Neil 3.1.1

        these are still negotiations, nothing has been agreed and under Carter the option of some sort of compromise on commercial whaling was on the table. so it’s odd he’s taken such a different line now.

        It’s probably worth not falling for the Japanese line that there is no commercial whaling going on right now and even if one is to believe that their whaling is scientific, ha, Iceland and Norway do commercial whaling quite openly under a different loop-hole.

        If you listen to Palmer he’s never ruled out legal options if negotiations fail. Which is not that far away from the Australian position – and they are not out for end to all whaling, just in the southern oceans. So that would be a compromise as well.

        • mickysavage

          “under Carter the option of some sort of compromise on commercial whaling was on the table …

          That is a hell of a long bow to draw. Do you have any proof?

          • Neil

            I’ll dig up the link again. This all dates back to mid-2007. But just think, if there is a deal and less whales get killed then you can take comfort that it wasn’t Key’s idea.

            • mickysavage

              So Key’s cunning plan was a recycled Labour proposal. How unusual!

            • Neil

              haven’t found the one I linked to in previous threads which dates this to mid-2007 but this one has this going back to Sept 2008, prior to the Nats getting in and still with Labour’s appointment to the IWC – Palmer:


              We are part of the small working group that is mentioned. Palmer actually chairs it.

              So what ever you think of the deal, Carter knew about and presumably agreed to these negotiations.

              And although one could right this off as just coming from the Bush admin the Obama admin is also in favour of some such deal.

              [lprent: If it was in these pages, use the search. Set advanced to comments only, order to freshness and a phrase. Something like ‘@author Neil whaling’ (without the quotes) would probably find it. ]

              • Bright Red

                At no point did Labour ever consider a return to commercial whaling. Simple.

                The best you can come up with is that a diplomatic process for a solution that started when Labour was in power has now come up with a proposal for commercial whaling, that’s not the same thing as Labour proposing commercial whaling.

                John Key, on the other hand, think commercial whaling is ok.

                Since you seem so willing to smear Labour by claiming that they supported commercial whaling, I assume you are damning of key actually doing it.

  4. tc 4

    More of the same and it’s an issue we can actually do jack all about as those mammal lovin jap’s will slaughter at will anyway (wales/dolphins/stockpiling blue fin tuna)…….what else are they sneaking around getting up to ?

    Nice to see Carter doing something but again no killer question as the post states…..nat’s will brush this off and for all his experience and high ranking that’s a poor performance from carter whom I believe has had his day in the sun and needs shuffling to the rear of the pack.

  5. toad 5

    Gold in them thar hills, and meat in them thar seas.

  6. john 6

    The endless Yack Yack about terminating commercial whaling in the Southern Ocean goes on. The Japanese treat all of it, including empty threats from Australia to take them to an International Court, as the impotent BS it certainly is. They see We are not willing to stand up and really be counted, but just sit on our Butts yacking on about it.”Most regrettable”(with a bow)!

    Australia leading the way a small Naval Task force must intervene to stop Japanese Whaling using the non-violent tactics pioneered by the brave Captain Paul Watson, giving the Whalers no peace to pursue their cruel slaughter. This involves harassment, if inadvertantly a ship is damaged Our Navy is available to render all humanitarian assistance.Further Australasia should declare the Southern Ocean a no-go area for all Whalers to be enforced by the Australian and New Zealand Navy.
    Let’s stop the bureaucratic BS and stand up as men, not pinstriped pimps!

    if we don’t do this the Japanese will still be giving us the finger 25 years from now down there. Meaning we’re all mouth and no do!

  7. Bill 7

    Finally a coherent explanation for all this pro-whaling shit. Nothing to do with conservation after all. Surprised?
    From todays Independent

    “The proposal has some powerful backers, even among countries which were formerly solidly opposed to commercial whaling’s return a fact which substantially increases its chances of adoption at Agadir. Principal among them is the US, whose officials in the negotiations have been strongly backing the proposal. This is thought to be in part because of a specific problem the subsistence whaling quotas for indigenous Inuit peoples in Alaska, which the US is obliged to seek from the IWC every few years.

    In 2002, in return for American hostility to its “scientific” whaling, Japan blocked the quota, causing the US considerable embarrassment before the Japanese backed down. The next quota request is due in 2012 and some observers think the US wants to make sure it is on terms with Japan so the quota will not be blocked again.

    Another surprise supporter of the proposal is New Zealand, although Australia is strongly opposed to the plan.

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