Tag Archives: New Zealand

New Zealand Makes Deal with Shell: Bans Protests Near Oil Rigs

31 May

by APNZ / The New Zealand Herald

protestorsatseaNewly released documents show Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce made a “backroom deal” with oil company Shell over the ban on protesting in the exclusive economic zone, the Labour Party says.

The law change last month banned protesters from demonstrating within 500 metres of ships or oil platforms within New Zealand’s 500km exclusive economic zone.

Penalties include fines of up to $100,000 and a year in prison.

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New Zealand ‘Aotearoa is Not For Sale’ hikoi begins today

24 Apr

File image of a hikoi which marched to Parliament last year

A two-week long hikoi protesting against asset sales, privatisation, overseas land sales and the Transpacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) will begin today in Cape Reinga.

The ‘Aotearoa is Not For Sale’ hikoi aims to reach Wellington on Friday, May 4, after stopping in several North Island towns.

Its progress through Auckland on Saturday will coincide with a public demonstration at Britomart on Queen St, which organisers expect over 10,000 people to attend.

The hikoi, which is open to everyone, “is about standing up and sending a clear message to the Government that we, our land, what’s under our land and what’s been built on our land, is not for sale”, organisers say.

Organisers have also criticised the Government’s consultation processes, saying they “don’t believe they have any integrity”, and say the majority of New Zealanders don’t support privatisation of the country’s assets, natural resources, land and public services.

Saturday’s demonstration is a “family-friendly march” which will assemble outside Britomart in central Auckland at 3pm, then march up Queen St to Aotea Square. It will be followed by speakers and musical entertainment.

A one-week series of activities and demonstrations will take place after the hikoi arrives in Wellington.

Article cross-posted from here

Another article, with more quotes, can be found here

Listen to a radio clip about it here

 

New Zealand Oil Spill Decimating Bird Population

18 Oct

According to the New Zealand government an oil spill from a grounded container ship in the Bay of Plenty has killed 1,250 seabirds with hundreds of others in rescue centers. However, conservationists say the avian death-toll is far higher with most contaminated birds simply vanishing in the sea.

“The number of birds being found washed up on the beaches will be a very small proportion of the birds being affected,” explained Karen Baird, Seabird Conservation Advocate with NGO Forest & Bird. “A lot of oil-covered birds will simply sink at sea and some of the more lightly oiled birds will be flying back to their colonies.”

After grounding itself on a reef, the container ship, MV Rena, released 350 tons into New Zealand’s Bay of Plenty, polluting some of the nation’s favorite beaches and decimating wildlife in the area.

Baird has warned that the oil disaster could injure and kill seabird chicks as well as adults. Since it is breeding season, adult birds may be unwittingly bringing oil back to their nests. Many chicks are also expected to starve when their parents don’t return.

New Zealand’s Environment Minister, Nick Smith, has already called the spill the nation’s ‘worst environmental disaster’. But it may not be over: the ship still contains 1,400 tons of oil that could spill if the vessel breaks up on the reef. Currently, efforts are underway for a salvage crew to pump the leftover oil out of the ship before this happens.

For complete article click here.

Fracking debate heating up in New Zealand

12 Aug

Heated debate over fracking, the mining process which could be used to extract gas in western Southland, is raging in the gas heartland of Taranaki.

A protest group, Climate Justice Taranaki, has called for a ban or moratorium on the practice, which it believes threatens aquifiers with toxic chemicals.

The issue has become an environmental flashpoint across the globe, but Taranaki is the first New Zealand region where there have been anti-fracking protests.

“What we are seeing, especially in the United States and Australia, is groundwater aquifiers being depleted and poisoned by toxic chemicals,” Climate Justice spokeswoman Emily Bailey said. “The resource companies don’t seem to be telling us what’s going on.”

Fracking is conventionally used to improve the flow of oil and gas wells by injecting a water-chemical mix into a well and subjecting it to high pressure, which forces the rock surrounding the well to crack open, releasing more oil and gas. In Southland, it could be used to extract shale gas from potentially huge deposits recently discovered under the Waiau Basin.

Anti-frackers believe the practice uses toxic chemicals which can permeate underground aquifiers and contaminate water.

The panic over fracking for shale gas was ignited by a provocative film, Gasland by Josh Fox, which claimed to expose the huge environmental damage caused by fracking in parts of the United States.

Article by Alex Fensome. For more information and full article go to source of cross-posting here

For more recent articles on the anti-fracking movement in New Zealand visit here, here and here

Indigenous and Environmental Groups set sail from Australia to protest offshore oil drilling

27 Mar

A flotilla of six boats sailed from Auckland Sunday to launch a protest against plans by a Brazilian oil company to drill for oil and gas off the East Cape of the North Island.

The protesters, including the Greenpeace environmental group, the Royal Forest & Bird Protection Society and an East Cape tribe of indigenous Maoris, said they feared potential damage from an oil spill like last year’s BP accident in the Gulf of Mexico.

The government announced in June that it had given Brazil’s Petrobras International Braspetro BV a 5-year exploration permit, covering 12,333 square kilometres of the Raukumara Basin.