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The Green Party plans to protect marine mammals and ecosystems

Written By: - Date published: 10:35 am, August 31st, 2017 - 25 comments
Categories: Conservation, election 2017, Environment, greens - Tags: , ,

The sanctuary will protect critically endangered Blue whales and 37 other species of marine mammals.

Gareth Hughes explains what this is about:

Local support:

Some of the media coverage:


Press release:

Green Party announces plan for largest-ever marine mammal sanctuary

James Shaw MP on Tuesday, August 29, 2017 – 11:06

The Green Party today announced that, in government, it will create New Zealand’s largest marine mammal sanctuary, to protect a blue whale feeding ground off the South Taranaki coast from destructive activities, including seabed iron sands mining.

Green Party leader James Shaw made the announcement together with Ngāti Ruanui on a beach near Patea, Taranaki, where people formed a human chain to show their opposition to a recently granted seabed mining permit off the coast.

“Critically endangered blue whales are the largest animals on the planet and in government the Greens will protect them, instead of allowing seabed mining and oil drilling near where they feed,” said Mr Shaw.

“Iron sand seabed mining vacuums up the seabed, filters out minerals, and then dumps the mud back into the ocean. For the whales, it’s like someone dumping the contents of a vacuum cleaner onto their dinner plates.

“Thousands of New Zealanders have spoken out against seabed mining and today we are standing with them to say that in government, the Greens will always protect our marine environment.

“We have been working with Ngāti Ruanui and other affected communities to develop a plan that will stop destructive seabed mining from putting blue whales at risk. In government we will continue to negotiate with all interested iwi and other groups to get this sanctuary in place.

“At around 30,000 square km, this will be New Zealand’s largest marine mammal sanctuary. We will finalise the boundaries working with iwi, communities, the Department of Conservation, and other experts.

“Blue whales and 37 other species of marine mammals live in this area, which National has been happy to sell off to the highest bidder to drill and mine.

“One hundred years ago, there were more than ten times the blue whales there than there are now. It’s time to stop taking them for granted.

“Preventing new mining and oil drilling will also reduce the risk of an oil spill on our beaches and coasts.

“The Green Party’s marine mammal sanctuary for blue whales provides a win-win opportunity: protect the environment and potentially create sustainable local jobs through new eco-tourism ventures, such as whale watching,” said Mr Shaw.

More detail here.


The Greens released a second policy on protecting whales:

Greens will send Navy vessels to protect whales

The Green Party in government will send a New Zealand Navy vessel to the Southern Ocean, to ensure Japan adheres to international law when it resumes whaling early next year.


Green Party highlighted environmental policies

Green Party main environmental protection policy

Green Party conservation policy.

25 comments on “The Green Party plans to protect marine mammals and ecosystems ”

  1. tracey 1

    And people complain about lack of policy

  2. Sans Cle 2

    That will piss Jenny Shipley off, although I see that she ceased being a director of Trans-Tasman Partnership a few years ago.

  3. esoteric pineapples 3

    “For the whales, it’s like someone dumping the contents of a vacuum cleaner onto their dinner plates.”

    I feel the same way about this government

  4. SpaceMonkey 4

    The Greens have got my vote… oodles of good policy.

  5. roy cartland 5

    Aspirational – but why not? Imagine the dream team of them and LP.

  6. Steve Wrathall 6

    Except there is zero evidence that any whale has ever been harmed by seabed mining, or oil drilling

    • tracey 6.1

      What say we put a jack hammer to work on your living room floor and see how the family feels after a week?

      Evidence that it won’t harm sea mammals is sketchy at best


    • One Anonymous Bloke 6.2

      A policy proposal that has zero evidence to support it? Sounds like your kind of policy.

      • Tracey 6.2.1

        Dead mammals tell no tales

      • Tracey 6.2.2

        We could expect applicants undertake studies to prove they will do no harm, rather than the other way round.

        “This study presents evidence that the STB is a blue whale foraging ground and is an example of how extraction of marine resources can be sanctioned without a complete understanding of potential impacts on the environment or biodiversity. Human activities have already dramatically reduced blue whale numbers, leaving only a remnant population (Branch et al. 2004 Branch, TA, Matsuoka, K and Miyashita, T. 2004. Evidence for increases in Antarctic blue whales based on Bayesian modelling. Marine Mammal Science, 20: 726–754. doi:10.1111/j.1748-7692.2004.tb01190.x
        [Crossref], [Web of Science ®], [Google Scholar]
        ; Branch 2007 Branch, TA. 2007. Abundance of Antarctic blue whales south of 60 S from three complete circumpolar sets of surveys. Journal of Cetacean Research and Management, 9: 253–262.
        [Google Scholar]
        ). Foraging is a critical life history component of any animal, and for blue whales, the ability to encounter reliable, dense prey aggregations can dramatically impact survival and reproductive rates. Outside of the Antarctic there are few documented blue whale foraging grounds in the Southern Hemisphere. It is therefore essential that a firm understanding of blue whale distribution and habitat use patterns within the STB is gained before anthropogenic activities escalate to levels of disturbance that could cause displacement of blue whales from a potentially critical foraging ground.” http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/00288330.2013.773919

        So, a small number of endangered creatures forage in an area about to be seabed mined but Steven thinks (I suggest the balance of probabilities is fair) that messing with their foraging grounds will not detrimentally impact them. The arrogance of the greedy human. The bizarre thing is he seems to be suggesting we do the seabed mining and when we find out it destroys mammals in the area we put that forward as evidence…. notwithstanding that the companies will do what they can to block the evidence gathering.

      • Tracey 6.2.3

        Extinct mammals tell no tales.

    • Oops! Logged out unwittingly/automatically.

    • Robert Guyton 6.4

      “zero evidence”
      Just out of interest, Steve, hard evidence aside, do you reckon marine mammals, including whales, are adversely affected by oil drilling or seabed mining and all that goes with those activities? I know I do, I’m just wondering, do you?

      (Sorry, moderator – must have logged out somehow)

    • Macro 6.5

      Yes Steve – and you said the same thing about Climate Change.
      I think your considered opinions can be taken for what they are:

  7. Tautoko Mangō Mata 7

    The National Government are incredibly keen on tourism ($$$$)but, at the same time, have pursued policies which are totally opposed to the preservation of the very features that draw tourists to NZ and which threaten to destroy the advertised clean green image that the Government has promoted.

    There has been a disregard of the importance of leaving the country in a decent condition for future generations. Unmitigated greed, changing the “standards” to hide the worsening stats and flogging off as much as they can for instant reward and for the benefit a just a few has been the modus operandi .

    The idea of a marine mammal sanctuary suggested by the Greens is an excellent one. We need a Labour -Green Government to save what is left of this country from the “jackals”.

  8. Mosa 8

    Great policy Great party Go GREENS

  9. Exkiwiforces 9

    Not sure if anybody has seen this?

    The Footage is quite frankly Fucking disgusting to see or watch and it no wonder the Arige Navy blew these assholes out of the water sometime ago.
    And remember NZ did this once using the A4 Skyhawk’s in the late 70’s as poor Navy ship couldn’t catch the two fishing as they were out running the Navy ship.

    Because if the greens want to send the Navy and the RNZAF on Fishery Patrols then the Navy must the right gear to the job properly aka ships fit for purpose as the current OPV’s when carrying the Seasprite Helicopter pushes the Ships ice belt well below the water (when the current OPV’s are a 100ton overweight already) and launching the RIB of the side in a high sea state is not with out risk, the necessary Rules Of Engagement, Orders For Opening Firing and Orders for Detainment aka arrest on the high seas.


    Sorry for my strong foul mouth language.

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