Apr 13, 2011

Orders served

Protestors off the East Cape have been served with a notice stipulating that they must not come within a certain distance of the Petrobras ship. As I said yesterday, this is more than outrageous. The threat of criminal sanction is very, very serious. Criminal sanction is the ultimate in moral judgement and legal punishment. It is beyond comprehension that the government is willing to invoke the criminal law in a case where no tangible harm exists, where the behaviour is non-threatening and where criminal sanction will effectively inhibit socially acceptable, and arguably desirable, behaviour. But most importantly there is a reasonable alternative to criminal sanction – working with the protestors. To be fair there probably is no common ground to be found and Te Whanau a Apanui/Greenpeace will not compromise, but the government should have, at the very least, tried before sending in the guns. The government has jumped ahead and invoked what should have been an option of last resort.

This is Greenpeace after all. A group of pacifists, environmentalists and other anti-violence types. The same could be said of Te Whanau a Apanui – they are the kaitiaki (custodian), not a taua (war party).   

There is one positive so far though. The Maori Party has finally come out in support. Credit to Te Ururoa Flavell (better late than never). However, I think he did undermine his point somewhat when comparing the government’s actions to Gaddafi. Hyperbole is effective when used well, but I think he may have taken the idea of exaggeration for effect a wee bit far. However, the point behind the rhetoric was strong and obvious.

This issue is only going to get messier. I am in two minds as to whether the government can win. The rangatiratanga of Te Whanau a Apanui will not stand against the might of the New Zealand state and win, but with the help of iwi katoa, politicians and the public the government must back down.  


  1. Do not forget that Iwi and others are also mobalising elsewhere:

    John Key is attracting strong local and iwi opposition to a badly thought out energy project:

    Protest planned at gigantic mega turbine project in sensitive marine environment http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/regional/72793/protest-at-tidal-power-project-planned "A spokesperson for Te Uri o Hau, Mikaera Miru, says the hapu will now begin organising a protest flotilla to confront Crest when it starts work in the harbour." Kapirara locals want their harbour protected, same as people on the East Coast

    Then there is anti mining opposition in the Southland electorate that finance minister Bill English holds, and in Taranaki:

    Environmental campaigners say plans for direct action against oil and gas prospectors have been given a boost by the Waitangi Tribunal’s findings on the petroleum industry.

  2. The Maori Party was the first party to support Te Whanau A Apanui on the lack of consulation with them by the Crown over the Petrobras permit. Check out Flavell's statement in June last year. Do your homework next time. All it takes is a Google search. Try keywords Te Ururoa + Te Whanau A Apanui

  3. Not looking good for National:

    http://www.odt.co.nz/news/national/156094/iwi-complain-un-about-oil-surveying lawyers representing the iwi plan to take a legal strategy based on indigenous rights to the United Nations in response to the surveying, Te Whanau a Apanui met with legal teams and Greenpeace protesters to consider their options.

    Maori iwi tonight decided to officially complain to the United Nations over the Government's decision to allow a South American company to survey for oil off the coast of the East Cape.

  4. National is pro deep sea oil and mining, do by the maori party being with them...

    Maori Party has been invisible on environmental issues...

  5. Wake up, anon. There is a massive, key word massive, difference between raising objections re the process and raising objections re the result.

    Where was the Maori Party when Te Whanau a Apanui was calling for support? Where was the Maori Party when the protest flotilla arrived? Why did Te Ururoa ignore his constituents for so long?

    The Maori Party was no where to be seen on this issue. Shame on them. Even now they haven't come out in full support. They have taken a timid swipe at the government response, nothing more.

  6. Tika bro. We were scratching our heads at many hui last year, waiting for our so-called Party to turn up. Not even an apology. Now it's all cool to tautoko and you're getting blamed for raising the point? Watch out for haters cuz. They just mad cos once again, they missed the waka...

  7. Kia ora bro. Maori Party staffers I think. Yeah, it would be good if they put their money where their mouth is and actually support the cause on the ground.

  8. Staffers indeed, most of the online support for the Maori Party I've seen is coming from staffers and whanau of the MPs. Saw Rahui's girl going hard on Hone's facebook page (even got screenshots LOL) and same with Te U's girls supporting him on his page. Oh well grab the support where you can find it I guess!

  9. Far out, really? That's pretty funny, but quite sad at the same time. They should spend their time more productively, researching policy would be a good start.

  10. I guess going to the UN is an option, but I don't think the Govt is going to take much notice of them. They have pretty much ignored the Special Rapporteur reports that have been done over the last 7 or 8 years.

  11. It doesn't matter what the government thinks, the UN is a good idea. New Zealand has a lot at stake if it decides to go ahead with a heavy mining, deep sea oil, seabed mining and privsatisation agenga with no public mandate.

    Iwi on the East Coast are standing up for their rights, which is only the beginning. Kia kaha to those standing up to National's 19th century and colonial energy policies.



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