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Daily blogs from the frontlines of the Greenpeace planet down under. 

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  • Hungary and the freedom I stand for

    Blogpost by Katalin Rodics - April 9, 2017 at 11:24

    In the winter of 2017, I received a call from a colleague about a small community in the Hungarian countryside, far from the busy streets of Budapest, that needed help. A Lutheran organisation had just launched a project with disabled adults, providing employment for a group of people who have very few opportunities in Hungary. We decided to join forces.

    70,000 people took to the streets in Hungary’s capital, Budapest, to protest against new laws targeting independent academia and civil society organisations. April 9, 2017  © Bence Jardany / GreenpeaceProtest against new laws targeting academia and NGOs. April 9, 2017

    Together with Greenpeace Hungary, the group is now planning an accessible ecological garden in the grounds of the centre, and starting to connect with the amazing network of organic farmers we’ve built across the country. Our supporters will help provide organic plants and materials needed to make the garden thrive. Soon there will be more than 100 people with disabil...

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  • Taitu's first voyage as a Greenpeace boat

    Blogpost by Russel Norman - April 4, 2017 at 17:58

    I’m writing from on board our new crowdfunded boat Taitu after a night I’ll never forget...

     

    We arrived in Napier early this morning, after leaving Wellington on Saturday afternoon where we had a wonderful naming ceremony for Taitu.

    Naming Taitu

    It started well, with a pod of dolphins bidding us farewell from Wellington harbour. But as we headed up towards Castle Point on the wild east coast, the weather turned. It was much worse than forecast - hurricane force winds, water spouts and heavy seas. It all came at us - seven people, Taitu, in a wild ocean.

    There were a few anxious moments, and a few Wellington dinners were left behind to feed the fish. But I never worried about safety. Taitu is small, but it’s seaworthy and we were lucky to have some old sea dogs in charge. Our crew know boats... Read more >

  • Taitu and a long history of protest in boats

    Blogpost by Nick Young - April 3, 2017 at 20:41

    Taitu

    After confronting Statoil and Chevron seismic blasting 50 nautical miles off the Wairarapa coast in small inflatable boats, we put out a call to New Zealanders to help us buy a bigger boat. The response was phenomenal. Within seven days we'd crowdfunded nearly $100,000 and bought a bigger boat! As the newest member of the Greenpeace fleet, it's got its rainbow stripes, and a new name chosen by you.

    Taitu as a verb meaning to hinder, impede, deter, and thwart an enemy. As a name for a boat it references the sea (Tai) and Tu means standing, strength, warrior spirit. 

    Soon we plan to head out again, this time in our people-powered boat Taitu, and continue our protest against climate-wrecking oil exploration.

    This is the speech that Kate Simcock gave at the naming ceremony for Taitu before it he...
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  • Cut the cows - a double whammy for the environment

    Blogpost by pvine - March 27, 2017 at 11:35

    It’s often said that domestic opinion doesn’t count for much in this country. Watch though, as heads turn and lattes spill when that same opinion comes from across the water. It’s our endearing lack of self confidence and charming inferiority complex at work. Kiwi artists and musicians will struggle for years for domestic recognition but one good review in London or Paris and suddenly they’re a national treasure.

    One wonders whether this peculiar aspect of national character will be in play as the Government digests two international environmental reports which rolled in yesterday. Both of them hot on the fact that New Zealand’s export led economic growth, fueled by an expanding dairy industry is on a collision course with nature.

    Most reasonable people accept that you can’t have unchecked... Read more >

  • Help name our new boat

    Blogpost by Nick Young - March 16, 2017 at 22:48

    Wow - we did it! Together, we’ve bought ‘The People's Boat’. Almost 1,000 people chipped in and together we have bought the boat that’s going to confront the Amazon Warrior - AKA, The Beast.

    Now we need you to give it a name. It’s only fitting that a crowdfunded boat gets a crowdsourced name!

    We need a name that reflects its people-powered spirit, its New Zealand heritage, and its new role as a guardian of our oceans and coastlines. It's a humble 15 metre ex-pilot boat with 7 berths and gets along at a fair rate of knots. It's not flashy, but it's seaworthy and safe.

    Click here to suggest a name. Once everyone has submitted their suggestions, we’ll pick out a shortlist, and then ask you to vote on the final choice.

    We’re preparing a crew, and soon we’ll be cleaning the bilges, stockin... Read more >

  • To save the climate, we must all push beyond our comfort zones

    Blogpost by Amanda Larsson - March 13, 2017 at 15:43

    I’ve always been mortified of breaking the rules.

    Looking back at my childhood and teens, I’m almost embarrassed by how righteously rule-abiding I’ve been. Never once got a detention in school. Never ever handed an assignment in late. Never got yellow-carded in soccer.

    I come from a family where “don’t stick your neck out” is a guiding philosophy. My whole life, I’ve learned to be a peace-maker; to never upset anyone or make enemies. In my family, putting your name to a petition is risky. Going on a protest march is deeply troubling. Blockading an oil conference? Absolutely out of the question.

    And yet, this is where I find myself. Prepared to join hundreds of people who will peacefully put their bodies on the line to stop oil industry executives from making plans to dig more unburnable ... Read more >

  • Our oceans, our responsibility

    Blogpost by Mike Fincken - March 2, 2017 at 7:55

    For some people the oceans may seem vast - to me they are my garden and my home. For the last three decades I have spent most of my life as a sailor and a captain. So you can imagine I feel a special tie to our blue planet. The many years at sea also mean I have witnessed how things have increasingly gone wrong for our oceans.

    Year by year, more and more fishing boats are out there, and they are getting bigger and bigger as well. There is so much over-fishing going on, so much poor management of fisheries and so much illegal fishing.

    Philippine Purse Seine Fishing OperationDiver Joel Gonzaga of the the Philippine purse seiner 'Vergene' at work using only a single air compressor hose to the surface, in and around a skipjack tuna purse seine net, in the international waters of high seas pocket No1   © Alex Hofford / Greenpeace

    Having sailed with Greenpeace for a long time now, I have been up-close and dirty with industrial fishing boats. I have witnessed bulging nets so large they could not be brought on board but had to be sucked up through a pipe lowered into the sea. I hear in... Read more >

  • Is Nick Smith Minister for Magic?

    Blogpost by Gen Toop - February 27, 2017 at 15:12

    It seems the critical issue of clean swimmable water for New Zealanders has passed into the realms of magical realism.

    Minister for Magic, Nick Smith waved his blue wand and wadeable rivers miraculously turned into ones you can swim in.

    Nick Smith

    All it takes is a little fiddling with the standards.

    This week Smith made a brave promise that 90 per cent of rivers would be swimmable by the year 2040.

    On the surface an applaudable sentiment, a move in the right direction, but anyone who has been following the freshwater debate will see right through it.

    Only a year ago the Environment Minister was saying that aiming for swimmable rivers was "impractical".

    So what changed to make it practical?

    Over the summer there's been a tipping point in public opinion.

    Thanks to efforts by many environmenta... Read more >

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