Sea Shepherd visit to Wellington

This is a message from the New Zealand Sea Shepherd group, to public and supporters:

We are 1000+ strong in New Zealand and growing rapidly, thanks to your efforts and the intensifying pressure on Japanese whalers to curtail their activities in the Southern Ocean Marine Sanctuary.

As a society with “conservation” in both our name and our charter, we have a deep concern for the devolution of the oceans and the extinction of many species of marine mammals and pelagic fish. We are living in a time of mass extinction; entire species are disappearing at an alarming rate. Nowhere is this happening faster than the oceans.

Sea Shepherd works for the overall good of the planet; we are a small organisation with a modest budget and operations worldwide. We have defended whales, dolphins, arp seals, bluefin tuna, sharks, turtles and other endangered marine life against poachers for more than thirty years.

We believe that John Key has misread the minds and hearts of New Zealanders in regards their relationship to the environment, and his proposal to reinstate commercial whaling after a 24- year moratorium is one example of the growing credibility gap between current government policies and the wishes of the New Zealand people. This is a values clash that cannot be negotiated.

Our response to this will be heard loud and clear this Friday 19th and Saturday 20th March in Wellington. Sea Shepherd’s founder Captain Paul Watson will be here Friday and Saturday; the Steve Irwin will arrive in port at Queen’s Wharf late Friday evening and be open to the public on Saturday, departing for the Galapagos Islands Saturday night. Here are the issues we will be addressing:

– Pete Bethune is going on trial in Japan when the real criminal, the Japanese skipper of the security vessel Shonan Maru No.2, who deliberately attacked and destroyed the Ady Gil, goes free in Japan. We will be showing our support for Pete, and inviting other organisations to join us.

– John Key’s flawed plan to resume commercial whaling goes on trial in the Court of New Zealand public opinion, with Labour’s Chris Carter leading the charge. If you haven’t signed the petition, take a minute and go to

– The Australian government has threatened to take Japan to an International Court in November over continued violations in the Southern Ocean Sanctuary.
Our government has refused to back this move, although they claim to want closer relations with Australia. We will ask why they are ignoring an issue that has commercial and environmental implications for both countries.

-The 47 signatories to the Antarctic Treaty meet in the USA next month. We want to see an environmental pollution complaint against Japanese whaling interests on the meeting’s agenda.

– Glen Inwood’s role as spokesman for the whalers and in supplying dis-information to the New Zealand government and media will be revealed to the public, along with his connection to Japanese commercial interests in New Zealand.



Sea Shepherd is coming to town. Show your support for saving the beloved whales, endangered and yet still being hunted in the thousands, in a whale sanctuary – in our back yard.

Here is a list of events so far:


– Powhiri traditional Maori Welcome for Captain Paul Watson and the crew
of the Sea Shepherd boat the “Steve Irwin” .
– The Steve Irwin Ship arrives into Queens Wharf (in front of Ferg’s Kayaks building). If you are a boat owner or know of someone that is, follow the Steve Irwin into port and lets give them the best kiwi welcome ever!!

– Tours of the ship

– Hear Captain Paul Watson talk at the CHIGAGO BAR, Queens wharf.

6-11pm Charity Concert in support of Pete Bethune at Sandwiches bar, corner of Courtenay Place and Kent Terrace, Wellington City.
– Tiki Taane
– Rhombus Sound System
– Steel Burning
– Riki Gooch
– Sean Deans
Tickets $25 each or 5 tickets for $100.
Pre-purchase tickets through the team at Sea Shepherd Wellington by contacting:
Phone Lisa or Marcus on 027 286 8642, 021 144 9249 or 04 972 0240

Leave me alone – I’m trying to have a holiday

David Farrar at Kiwiblog also has a regular on-line column at the National Business Review. This week his NBR column is a purported SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) analysis of the political parties in Parliament.

Among his suggested weakneses for National, he states: “Some new Ministers may prove to be easy targets for the Opposition.”

Now, there’s been quite a lot of activity on the Foreign Affairs front warranting a response from Foreign Minister Murray McCully over the last month. So lets have a look at some of the media comments (or lack thereof) emanating from the Dark Side:

Whaling: Government whaling spokesman Murray McCully said he had not seen the report detailing the proposal…

Whaling: But he says the overall objective needs to be to stop whaling altogether. Mr McCully says he is relaxed about debates on how to do that – but says there are no proposals on the table which New Zealand lends its support to.

Whaling: A spokesman for Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully said he was awaiting ministerial advice before responding to the report.

Sea Shepherd: A spokesman for Foreign Minister Murray McCully said the Government would not comment publicly unless the ship intended to enter New Zealand.

Sea Shepherd: A government spokesman said that the Foreign Affairs Minister, Murray McCully, would be advised on the matter, as soon as a thorough assessment was completed.

Sri Lankan conflict: A spokesman for Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully told ONE News that New Zealand’s links to Sri Lanka are not strong enough to try to help resolve the conflict…

Israeli invasion of Gaza: Putting pressure on Israel alone to end the violence in Gaza will not stop the death toll rising, says Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully.

Israeli invasion of Gaza: Amnesty says it is disappointed at recent comments by Foreign Minister Murray McCully and would welcome a stronger call to end the bloodshed there.

Israeli invasion of Gaza: The Government has taken a neutral stance. Since the conflict began, Foreign Minister Murray McCully has been urging both sides to agree to a ceasefire.

Israeli invasion of Gaza: Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully said that while deeply disappointed with Israel’s invasion, which has caused over 500 Palestinian deaths, it was “pointless” discussing whether it was overreaction.

Israeli invasion of Gaza: A spokesperson for Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully said New Zealand is not a significant player in Middle Eastern politics but the Government is doing all it can.

Israeli invasion of Gaza: Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully said the criticism from Mr Locke that the government had not released a press statement on the Gaza conflict was “pure sophistry”. “I have been available to every news media outlet in the country that has sought comment on the issue from the outset.

Fiji rules out elections: New Zealand’s Foreign Minister Murray McCully would not comment on the issue.

Relations with Fiji: New Zealand foreign minister Murray McCully told Radio New Zealand the issue will be raised in Cabinet when it resumes later this month. He said it will be up to New Zealand’s Prime Minister to decide how to respond as the letter is addressed to him.

Israeli women ordered out of Southland café: Mr McCully told The Southland Times people had very strong views on the situation in the Middle East. “But it’s to be hoped that this sort of thing isn’t to be imported into New Zealand.” He would not answer further questions on the issue.

Israeli women ordered out of Southland café: Foreign Affairs minister Murray McCully did not return calls last night.

On the basis of this performance, I’m wondering if McCully was one of the Ministers who inspired David Farrar’s suggestion some of them could be easy targets. Let’s hope Murray’s holiday doesn’t last the full three year term.