Trade Agreements For The 21st Century

The world has changed significantly since the emergence of ‘free’ trade in the 1980s. In 2017 tariffs are the least of our worries.

We now know that the earth’s resources are finite and are being used up much faster than they can be replenished.

We know that carbon dioxide emissions are set to cause catastrophic climate change if we do not act quickly to reduce them. Continue reading

You Have To Be Green To Be Red?

Environmental issues and social justice are intertwined. Global warming can only be averted by using the Earth’s resources in a fair and sustainable way.

Likewise, social justice can only occur if global warming is at least contained. Those most at risk from a planet with frequent extreme climate events, pollution, and scarcity of resources, are the same people at risk from unscrupulous employers who refuse to pay a living wage and provide safe working conditions. Continue reading

No Place To Hide From Climate Change

“It’s official – 2050 is the point of no return for climate change,” according to Emeritus Professor Jim Flynn. Professor Flynn was speaking at an open lecture on climate change as part of the Alliance Party conference in Christchurch yesterday. Professor Flynn, who has been researching climate change for an upcoming book, painted a bleak picture. We need to get to zero emissions as soon as possible to avoid sea level rises as high as 12 metres by 2100, dwindling water resources, and an ever-increasing amount of non arable land. Continue reading

Former maritime leader says Rena grounding inevitable result of maritime deregulation

The Alliance Party says that it is clear that the grounding of the Rena is a disaster that didn’t need to happen, and is the result of deregulation of the maritime industry.

Alliance Party maritime spokesperson Trevor Hanson says he has long predicted an incident like this since “ships of shame” had been allowed to operate freely on the New Zealand coast.

Mr Hanson has many decades of experience in the maritime industry, and is the former General Secretary of the Waterfront Workers Union and the Maritime Union of New Zealand. Continue reading

Alliance says New Zealand must take firm line on jailing of Peter Bethune

The Alliance Party says it is deeply disturbing that anti-whaling activist Peter Bethune could be jailed for up to 15 years in Japan.

Alliance Party fisheries and maritime spokesperson Trevor Hanson says it’s time for the New Zealand Government to tell Japanese authorities enough is enough.

“The whaling issue is not about to be resolved in the forthcoming world whaling conference and people of New Zealand are being quietly prepared by our National Government for a soft agreement which will allow the slaughter to continue at a lesser rate of kills.”

Mr Hanson says New Zealand has been part of all the meetings and agreements permitting the current abhorrent “scientific kill.”

He says “scientific kill” is an absolute misnomer.

“Twenty years have gone by with no reduction in the Japanese kill and the actions of New Zealand Governments during this time have all been to follow a path of diplomacy which has produced absolutely nothing.”

Mr Hanson says the Japanese Government simply don’t care and it is extremely unlikely that they will agree to any reduction in whale kill.

The New Zealand Government is too scared to take a firm line because of trade implications, he says.

“If the Government stand back and watch a New Zealand citizen jailed because of his actions against the Japanese whalers, actions supported by a majority of New Zealanders, then this Government will stand to be judged by not only New Zealanders but internationally.”

Alliance condemns National Government's lack of action on whaling

The Alliance has condemned the Government’s wishy washy approach to Japanese whaling in the Southern Ocean.

Alliance Party fisheries spokesperson Trevor Hanson says Sea Shepherd and likeminded organisations are doing what 90% of New Zealanders want, using whatever means at their disposal to stop the killing of whales in the Southern Ocean.

He says the recent incident where a New Zealand registered vessel the Ady Gil was rammed and sunk is part of this process.

“No matter what the National Government claims say and no matter how many protests at international whaling forums nothing has changed. The Japanese Government arrogantly continues on its path claiming the right to ‘scientific’ whale kills.”

Mr Hanson says protestors who have put life and limb at risk to stop the obnoxious practise of killing whales are doing the only thing possible to bring this practise to an end.

He says while John Key has announced the possibility of an “international agreement” the only agreement New Zealanders want is a complete stop by the Japanese whalers.

“Any half measure agreement to which the New Zealand Government signs up to would be seen for what it is, authorizing further continuation of the current slaughter, contrary to the wishes of New Zealanders.”

Mr Hanson says statements by the Minister of Fisheries about the incident in which the New Zealand registered Ady Gil was damaged and later sunk, where he said an investigation by Maritime New Zealand and TAIC would be carried out, were diversions.

“We are well aware of the length of time these investigations by Maritime New Zealand and the TAIC will take. Meanwhile whale killing continues.”

Mr Hanson says all whaling in the Southern Ocean should cease.

Social democratic approach needed for climate change

Any agreement reached at the Climate Change talks in Copenhagen will be a stop gap measure at best, says Professor Jim Flynn of the Alliance Party.
In a public talk in Dunedin this week, Professor Flynn said that the present scenario sees affluent first world countries that have caused the environmental crisis telling third world countries that they shouldn’t have the opportunity to lift their people out of poverty, through the same processes of industrialization and development because of the effect on the environment. Continue reading

Climate change bill does not deal with the real problems

The Alliance Party says it opposes the emissions trading scheme being pushed through Parliament because it does not go far enough.

Alliance Party co-leader Kay Murray says the Alliance is completely committed to fighting climate change, but the market approach of carbon trading won’t work. Continue reading