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Nathan Argent

Nathan Argent is the Policy Advisor for Greenpeace New Zealand based in Wellington and is a long time Greenpeace campaigner with an interest in clean technology solutions.

  • Next week, the Government will end its consultation on the type of activities that should be permitted in our Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), which include deep sea oil and gas drilling. New Zealanders are being asked to make submissions on what type of activities should be permitted  discretionary or prohibited.

    The prospect of deep water drilling in our coastal waters is a highly controversial  issue and the opportunity for the public to have its say is fundamental to the democratic process.

    Yet, before the consultation is due to close, and before Parliament has had the chance to fully debate and vote on the EEZ legislation, the Government has already released 23 deep sea oil blocks for competitive tender. This betrays the good faith enshrined in the public consultation process and indica... Read more >

  • Anti-mining march

    Today, Pure Advantage, the business group whose backers include Air New Zealand boss Rob Fyfe, Villa Maria founder George Fistonich and Warehouse founder Sir Stephen Tindall, released a report into New Zealand’s environmental record, and its efforts to protect its global reputation.

    The report, New Zealand's Position in the Green Race, says the country urgently needs to raise its game and restore integrity to its clean, green reputation. Offering a litany of missed opportunities and lacklustre vision, it is a sobering insight into the failures of successive governments to safeguard our once clean, green nation.

    Amongst our failings, it tells us that our per-capita carbon emissions are the fifth worst in the OECD, and will overtake those of the US on a per-capita basis in less than eight... Read more >

  • Yesterday, the notorious rainforest destroyer Asia Pulp and Paper (APP), the parent company of New Zealand based Cottonsoft, made a grandstanding announcement that it was committed to protecting the natural forests of Indonesia.

    Now you may recall that last year we released the result of scientific testing that conclusively showed that Cottonsoft products contained rainforest fibre. And needless to say, yesterday Cottonsoft issued a statement welcoming "a raft of new sustainability measures by its Indonesia-based supplier Asia Pulp & Paper Group (APP)" which includes "a commitment to suspend the clearing of natural forest on its own pulpwood concessions in Indonesia".

    Two very interesting things struck me about this. Firstly, there's nothing new about this statement. Back in 2006, Asia Pap... Read more >

  • Roy Reid, Grey Power National President, and Arena Williams, NZ University Student Association President, in front of the Keep Our Assets message projected onto the Meridian Building, Wellington. The two organizations are members of the Keep Our Assets coalition which will officially launch its campaign tomorrow (Thursday) opposing the Government's plan to partially privatize state owned assets. Meridian is one of the companies up for privatization. The projected message reads ‘Keep Our Assets' and urges people to sign a petition at www.keepourassets.org.nz Photo by Marty Melville

    This morning I attended the official launch of the Citizens Initiated Referendum - a citizen led campaign to ensure that New Zealand's important assets remain Kiwi owned. This follows hot on the heels of the vibrant, electric and deafening hikoi that strode in to Wellington last week to deliver the message: that Aotearoa is not for sale.

    The breakfast launch down at parliament was standing room only as MP's from opposition parties, community groups, student organisations, unions and media all came to listen to the very eloquent and articulate speeches from Grey Power's Roy Reid and Arena Williams from the New Zealand Union of Students' Association. The very same pair who had the previous night defied the adverse conditions of a wet, wintry Wellington evening to project a Keep Our Assets lo... Read more >

  • Asset sales agenda sparks a movement

    Blogpost by Nathan Argent - May 7, 2012 at 12:05

    After the huge protest against asset sales in Auckland the week before, on Friday the Aotearoa is Not for Sale hikoi arrived in the capital to mark the end of the march from Northland. But this looks to be the beginning of a much longer and broader campaign  to oppose the National Government's plans to partially privatise some of the country's most prized assets.

    I joined the march as it was making its way from Te Papa down to the steps of Parliament - the energy and noise drawing me in to the heart of the protest. It was a well-organised, colourful and lively affair, with one clear message echoing along the narrow canyon of office buildings on Lambton Quay - that Aotearoa is not for sale.

    The chants of the six thousand or so that had given up their lunchtime were in charismatic and con... Read more >

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