Elvis to appear at Tauranga court as part of deep sea oil struggle

Press release - July 23, 2012
Tauranga, 23/07/12: The skipper of a Te Whanau a Apanui-owned fishing boat will appear in the Tauranga District Court today, to answer charges arising from his involvement in the Stop Deep Sea Oil Flotilla off the East Cape last year.

Elvis Teddy is facing charges of operating a vessel in an unsafe manner (under Section 65 of the Maritime Transport Act), and resisting arrest. His trial is set down for four days.

Te Whanau a Apanui will be holding a protest rally outside the Court at 0830 hours Monday (today). Greenpeace representatives, and supporters, will be at the rally too, and will remain present for the length of the trial.

“Greenpeace is here to support Elvis Teddy’s stand to protect his iwi’s waters and customary fishing rights from the threat of deep sea oil. Petrobras surveyed in up to 3100 metres of water off the Cape – more than twice the depth the Deepwater Horizon was operating in when it exploded and sank into the Gulf of Mexico in 2010,” says Carmen Gravatt, Campaigns Director at Greenpeace NZ.

“An area twice the size of the North Island was closed to fishing following that disaster. If the same happened here, the people of Te Whanau a Apanui, not to mention anyone who makes a living, directly or indirectly, off this country’s clean green reputation, would be severely affected,” says Gravatt.

Tomorrow Greenpeace, and a host of other regional deep sea oil and coal campaigning groups, will submit a 140,000- signature strong petition to Parliament calling for an end to the Government’s fossil fuels agenda, and for a clean energy future instead.

This follows a joint Greenpeace/Te Whanau a Apanui–initiated judicial review of the decision to grant Petrobras a drilling permit. This was made on the grounds that the Crown did not fulfil its Treaty of Waitangi obligations to consult with Te Whanau a Apanui, and because the then Energy and Resources Minister admitted that he did not consider the environment before he issued the permit. The joint-action sought to have the permit overturned; that was declined in June. An appeal against that ruling was lodged last Wednesday.