Apanui Media Release: Court Case Continues as Government Compound Problems

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Tauranga, Tuesday 24 July 2012: Today is the second day of a trial in the Tauranga District Court case where Te Whanau a Apanui fisherman Elvis Teddy is accused of breaching the Maritime Safety Act and resisting arrest last year while defending tribal waters from deep sea oil exploration by oil giant Petrobras.

At the same time the Government is compounding problems by pushing the deeply flawed EEZ Bill through Parliament which has such low environmental protection you could drive an oil survey ship through it, says Dayle Takitimu spokesperson for Te Whanau a Apanui. Have the Government learnt nothing?

As the owner of the Rena visits the region and issues apologies, Te Whanau a Apanui are conscious that oil continues to wash up on beaches leading out to East Cape.

We dont want to be the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff again. Thats why it is so hard to comprehend why the Government is bulldozing ahead with the EEZ Bill containing virtually no environmental protections.

The charges against Elvis Teddy are highly politicised. Remember that the Captain of the Rena was on the same/similar charges but he grounded a ship and caused an oil disaster but Elvis Teddy did the opposite. He was out there trying to prevent an oil disaster from happening. The charges seem to be aimed at trying to prevent people opposing the Governments irresponsible exploration agenda, says Ms Takitimu.

Last year the Government used the Airforce, Navy and Police to protect Petrobras oil exploration rights against Te Whanau a Apanui and a protest flotilla. The rights of people in this country must come first, not multinational companies. The upshot of the Seabed and Foreshore fiasco was that the Government nationalised the seabed so they could hand it over to multinational oil and mining companies.

Adelaide Waititi, Chairperson of Te Whanau a Apanui Runanga, was present on the steps of Parliament in Wellington earlier today to present a petition to Parliament, alongside Greenpeace, with over 150,000 signatures from concerned people throughout New Zealand opposing deep sea oil exploitation.

Deep sea oil exploration and drilling threatens one of the greatest resources that we have all inherited and must pass on to the next generation in better condition that we found it, she says.

For more information contact spokesperson for te Whanau a Apanui Dayle Takitimu

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