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

New Zealand must condemn attack on Gaza relief flotilla

The Israeli attack on the humanitarian flotilla carrying aid to Gaza deserves international condemnation.

Alliance Party co-leader Kay Murray says the New Zealand government must immediately denounce the attack in the strongest possible terms.

The attack took place in international waters when boats in the flotilla were boarded by Israeli naval commandos. At least 10 people are reported dead and another 30 injured.

Israel has refused to allow ships bearing humanitarian aid into Gaza waters since early 2009 despite condemnation from aid agencies and even the United Nations for doing so.

This has devastated the local economy and left Gazans without essential supplies including building materials to repair homes damaged in Israeli attacks.

The Alliance Party says that there is no excuse for Israel’s actions in either denying vessels carrying aid entry to Gaza waters or the outrageous attack on an unarmed flotilla.

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.

Former maritime leader Trevor Hanson appointed Alliance Party spokesperson

The Alliance Party has announced its new spokesperson for employment relations, transport and fisheries as former waterfront and maritime leader Trevor Hanson.

Mr Hanson recently retired from his position as General Secretary of the Maritime Union of New Zealand, and previous to that General Secretary of the Waterfront Workers Union.

He says that working class people in New Zealand have been under attack and have seen their share of wealth shrink even though they were working harder and longer. Continue reading