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Outrage at Key’s pro-whaling plan

Written By: - Date published: 8:42 am, March 8th, 2010 - 55 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…

55 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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    12 hours ago
  • Exemption granted for Wallabies to enter NZ
    Bledisloe Cup rugby will be played in New Zealand after the Australian rugby team received an economic exemption to enter New Zealand. Travel between Australia and New Zealand was suspended on Friday for at least eight weeks following the worsening of the COVID outbreak across the Tasman. New Zealanders have ...
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    13 hours ago
  • Minister of Foreign Affairs makes three diplomatic appointments
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced three New Zealand Head of Mission appointments. They are: Mike Walsh as Ambassador to Iran Michael Upton as Ambassador to Ethiopia and the African Union Kevin Burnett as Ambassador to Indonesia Iran “Aotearoa New Zealand has a long-standing and constructive relationship with Iran, despite a ...
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    15 hours ago
  • Enhanced Task Force Green Approved for West Coast and Marlborough
    The Government has activated Enhanced Task Force Green (ETFG) in response to the West Coast and Marlborough floods, Social Development and Employment Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced today. “To assist with the clean-up, up to $500,000 will be made available to support the recovery in Buller and Marlborough which has experienced ...
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    16 hours ago
  • Govt support for upgrade of Eden Park players facilities
    Minister for Sport and Recreation Hon Grant Robertson has announced funding to upgrade the players facilities at Eden Park ahead of upcoming Women’s World Cup events. Eden Park is a confirmed venue for the Rugby World Cup 2021, the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup 2022, and a proposed venue for matches of ...
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    16 hours ago
  • More jobs and quicker public transport motoring towards West Auckland
    Work to improve public transport for West Aucklanders and support the region’s economic recovery by creating hundreds of jobs has officially kicked off, Transport Minister Michael Wood announced today. Michael Wood and Auckland Mayor Phil Goff this morning marked the start of construction on the Northwestern Bus Improvements project. It ...
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    16 hours ago
  • Government backs critical health research
    Research into some of New Zealanders’ biggest health concerns including cancer, diabetes, and heart disease is getting crucial support in the latest round of health research funding, Health Minister Andrew Little announced today. The funding, awarded through the Health Research Council of New Zealand, covers 31 General Project grants ($36.64 ...
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    17 hours ago
  • New Bay of Islands hospital facilities to bring services closer to home
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister Andrew Little have joined a ceremony to bless the site and workers for Phase Two of the redevelopment of the Bay of Islands Hospital in Kawakawa today. The new building will house outpatients and primary care facilities, as well as expanded renal care ...
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    2 days ago
  • Cabinet accepts Turkish authorities’ request for the managed return of three NZ citizens
    Cabinet has agreed to the managed return of a New Zealand citizen and her two young children from Turkey, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. The three have been in immigration detention in Turkey since crossing the border from Syria earlier this year. Turkey has requested that New Zealand repatriate ...
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    2 days ago
  • Govt delivers more classrooms so children can focus on learning
    Extra Government investment in classrooms and school building projects will enable students and teachers to focus on education rather than overcrowding as school rolls grow across the country, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis say. The pair visited Ruakākā School in Whangārei today to announce $100 ...
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    2 days ago
  • New station a platform for AirportLink to take off
    Every Aucklander with access to the rail network will now have a quick and convenient trip to the airport, Transport Minister Michael Wood and Auckland Mayor Phil Goff said during the official opening of the new Puhinui Interchange today. The new interchange links the rail platform with a new bus ...
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    4 days ago
  • 10 days sick leave for employees delivered
    Legislation doubling employees’ minimum sick leave entitlement to 10 days comes into effect today, bringing benefits to both businesses and employees, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Wood announced today. “Our Government is delivering on a key manifesto commitment to help Kiwis and workplaces stay healthy,” Michael Wood said. “COVID-19 ...
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    4 days ago
  • Prime Minister congratulates Fiame Naomi Mata’afa on Election Win
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern tonight congratulated Prime Minister-elect Fiame Naomi Mata’afa on her victory in the Samoa’s general election. “New Zealand has a special relationship with Samoa, anchored in the Treaty of Friendship. We look forward to working with Samoa’s new government in the spirit of partnership that characterises this ...
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    4 days ago
  • Quarantine Free Travel with Australia suspended
    Quarantine Free Travel from all Australian states and territories to New Zealand is being suspended as the Covid situation there worsens, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. From 11.59pm today Australians will no longer be able to enter New Zealand quarantine-free. This will be ...
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    5 days ago
  • Growing conservation efforts in Gisborne
    A big injection of Jobs for Nature funding will create much-needed jobs and financial security for families in TeTairāwhiti, and has exciting prospects for conservation in the region, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. “The projects target local communities most affected by the economic consequences of COVID 19 and are designed ...
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    5 days ago
  • Flood recovery given further assistance
    The Government is contributing a further $1 million to help the flood battered Buller community, Acting Emergency Management Minister Kris Faafoi announced today. “Buller is a small community which has found itself suddenly facing significant and ongoing welfare costs. While many emergency welfare costs are reimbursed by Government, this money ...
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    5 days ago
  • Funding for five projects to reduce food waste
    The Government is funding five projects to help address the growing problem of food waste, Environment Minister David Parker announced today. “New Zealand households throw away nearly 300,000 tonnes of food every year, half of which could still be eaten. By supporting these initiatives, we’re taking steps to reduce this ...
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    6 days ago
  • Temporary Accommodation Service activated for West Coast flooding event
    The Temporary Accommodation Service (TAS) has been activated today - meaning residents on the West Coast of the South Island and in the Marlborough region hit by flooding over the weekend can now access help finding temporary accommodation, announced Associate Minister of Housing (Public Housing) Poto Williams in Westport today. ...
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    7 days ago
  • Pause to Quarantine Free Travel from South Australia to New Zealand
    Quarantine Free Travel from South Australia to New Zealand will be paused from 11.59am (NZT) tonight, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins has announced. However, people currently in the state who ordinarily live in New Zealand will be able to return on “managed return” flights starting with the next available flight, ...
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    1 week ago
  • New Zealand condemns malicious cyber activity by Chinese state-sponsored actors
    New Zealand has established links between Chinese state-sponsored actors known as Advanced Persistent Threat 40 (APT40) and malicious cyber activity in New Zealand. “The GCSB has worked through a robust technical attribution process in relation to this activity. New Zealand is today joining other countries in strongly condemning this malicious ...
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    1 week ago
  • Remarks to Diplomatic Corps
    It is a pleasure to be with you all this evening. Some of you may have been surprised when you received an invitation from the Minister of Disarmament and Arms Control, and I would forgive you if you were. New Zealand is unique in having established a Ministerial portfolio ...
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    1 week ago
  • Early Pfizer shipment boosts vaccine schedule
    The largest shipment of the Pfizer vaccine to date has arrived into New Zealand two days ahead of schedule, and doses are already being delivered to vaccination centres around the country, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says. “The shipment of more than 370,000 doses reached New Zealand yesterday, following a ...
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    1 week ago
  • Backing for Bay of Islands predator free effort
    The Government is throwing its support behind an ambitious project to restore native biodiversity and build long-term conservation careers, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. Predator Free Bay of Islands aims to eradicate predators from the three main peninsulas in the region, and significantly reduce their impact throughout the wider 80,000-plus ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government commits $600,000 to flood recovery
    The Government is contributing $600,000 to help residents affected by the weekend’s violent weather with recovery efforts. Acting Minister for Emergency Management Kris Faafoi and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor have been in the Buller district this afternoon to assess flood damage and support the local response effort. They have announced ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government assisting local responses to heavy rainfall and high wind
    Acting Minister of Emergency Management Kris Faafoi says Central Government is monitoring the severe weather across the country, and is ready to provide further support to those affected if necessary. “My thoughts are with everyone who has been affected by this latest event, particularly communities on the West Coast and ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • PM Ardern chairs APEC Leaders’ meeting on COVID-19
    New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has chaired a meeting of Leaders representing the 21 APEC economies overnight. “For the first time in APEC’s history Leaders have come together for an extraordinary meeting focused exclusively on COVID-19, and how our region can navigate out of the worst health and economic ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Health Minister welcomes progress on nurses’ pay
    The New Zealand Nurses Organisation’s decision to take the Government’s improved pay offer to members and to lift strike notices is a positive move towards settling district health board nurses’ pay claims, Health Minister Andrew Little said. “It’s encouraging that the discussions between NZNO and DHBs over the nurses’ employment ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Boost for Pacific regional business
    Pacific businesses will get a much-needed financial boost as they recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic thanks to the new Pacific Aotearoa Regional Enterprise Fund, said Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio.  The new $2 million fund will co-invest in Pacific business projects and initiatives to create ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • PM Ardern call with President Biden
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern spoke with US President Biden this morning, ahead of the APEC Informal Leaders’ Retreat on COVID-19. “President Biden and I discussed the forthcoming APEC leaders meeting and the critical importance of working together as a region to navigate out of the COVID-19 pandemic”, Jacinda Ardern said. ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Renewed partnership creates jobs for New Zealand youth
    The Government has signed a new memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Mayors Taskforce for Jobs, strengthening the partnership to get more young people into work.  The Mayors Taskforce for Jobs (MTFJ) is a nationwide network of all Mayors in New Zealand, who are committed to making sure all young ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • South Island areas prioritised in tourism fund
    Five South Island areas are prioritised in the latest round of decisions from a tourism fund that is supporting infrastructure projects from Cape Reinga to Stewart Island and the Chathams. Tourism Minister Stuart Nash has announced details of 57 nationwide projects to receive support from the Tourism Infrastructure Fund (TIF). ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • New code sets clear expectations for learner safety and wellbeing in tertiary education
    A new code of practice for the pastoral care of domestic tertiary and international students will be in place from January next year, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today The code, which makes clear that creating an environment that supports learning and wellbeing is a shared responsibility between tertiary providers, ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • First TAB New Zealand Board appointments announced
    The members of the first TAB NZ Board come with experience in racing and sport administration, business and governance, the betting industry, broadcasting and gambling harm minimisation. “This Board will progress from the excellent work done by the interim board, put in place in August 2020,” Grant Robertson said. “The ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Northland Maori Pathways initiative introduced
    The Government has today launched Māori Pathways at Northland Region Corrections Facility, a ground-breaking series of initiatives designed in partnership with Māori to reduce re-offending and improve outcomes for whānau. A key part of the Hōkai Rangi strategy, Māori Pathways looks to achieve long-term change and involves a number of ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Extended Essential Skills visas being rolled out
    Two year Essential Skills visa to provide certainty to at least 18,000 visa holders Streamlined application process to benefit at least 57,000 visa holders The Government is increasing the duration of some Essential Skills visas and streamlining the application process to provide more certainty to employers and visa holders while ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Pause to Quarantine Free Travel from Victoria to New Zealand
    Quarantine Free Travel from Victoria to New Zealand will be paused from 1.59am (NZT) Friday, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins has announced. The decision follows updated public health advice from New Zealand officials and a growing number of cases and locations of interest. The pause will run for at least ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Hydrogen arrangement signed with Singapore
    The signing of an Arrangement of Cooperation on low-carbon hydrogen with Singapore heralds the start of greater collaboration between it and New Zealand as both countries transition towards low carbon economies, says Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods. The cooperation arrangement between New Zealand’s Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Hydrogen agreement signed with Singapore
    The signing of a Memorandum of Cooperation on low-carbon hydrogen with Singapore signals the start of greater collaboration between the two countries as they transition towards low carbon economies, says Energy and Resources Minister Dr Megan Woods. The cooperation agreement between New Zealand’s Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Speech to LGNZ Conference
    Kia ora koutou katoa and thank-you for the invitation to speak to you all today. I would like to acknowledge Local Government New Zealand President Stuart Crosby, and Chief Executive, Susan Freeman-Greene, Te Maruata Chair, Bonita Bigham, and our host, Mayor John Leggett. I also acknowledge all the elected members ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Government to provide support for water reforms, jobs and growth
    The Government today announced a $2.5 billion package to support local government transition through the reforms to New Zealand’s drinking water, wastewater and stormwater services. The package will also stimulate local economies while creating jobs and unlocking infrastructure for housing. “New Zealand’s water systems are facing a significant crisis and ...
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    2 weeks ago