GE Free New Zealand in Food & Environment, 23rd  June 2005

Whales May Survive But New Zealand's Reputation May Not

The New Zealand government's display of double-standards on conservation and the environment at recent international conferences will come back to haunt them and threatens to undermine our international standing.

Far from being a 'champion of the environment' suggested by media coverage of Minister Chris Carter's work at the International Whaling Commission, New Zealand has recently undermined environmental protection and run roughshod over the ethical concerns raised by most other nations of the world at other conferences.

" Our record on conserving whales is all well and good but seems meaningless when considerd alongside New Zealand's spoiling tactics at the Cartegna Protocol meetings a few weeks ago," says Jon Carapiet from GE Free NZ in food and environment.

The New Zealand govrnment has been widely condemned for blocking consensus on labelling and liability for GMO shipments internationally. It has previously supported Terminator Seed technology despite almost universal rejection of such developments on ethical, sustainability and social-justice grounds.

"The media coverage of the Whaling vote was a PR excercise that the media have allowed to hide the misdeeds of our government in other fora," says Jon Carapiet.

When the nations of the world stand up and protest with signs saying 'SHAME on NZ' the government and the media should sit up and take notice.

It is alarming that such events go unreported in New Zealand when they may have far greater long term effects on our international relations.

Though it is good news that commercial whaling has been blocked, our government's double standards on environmental protection internationally is set to destroy our reputation as an honest and fair-minded nation.

The loss of our valuable reputation should concern all New Zealanders.

The local media must carry much of the blame for keeping the truth about our country's shameful lobbying overseas hidden from the public, while promoting "feel good" stories about whaling that are too close to being PR for comfort.


Jon Carapiet 0210 560 7681

Back to Press Release Directory