Bridges target of dolphin protest

A group angry at the Government's decision to allow oil exploration in the habitat of the endangered Maui's dolphin are set to picket outside Tauranga MP Simon Bridges' office this weekend.

Rotorua electorate candidate for Labour Tamati Coffey is leading the protest outside Simon Bridges' Tauranga offices.

Organised by Labour candidate for Rotorua, Tamati Coffey, this Saturday protesters plan to present the Minister of Energy and Resources with a letter from concerned Kiwis seeking immediate action to ban exploration.

The protest comes after it was revealed the Government opened more than 3000km of the Maui dolphin's habitat, the West Coast North Island Marine Mammal Sanctuary, up for oil and gas exploration.

Tamati believes the issue transcends politics, striking at the very core of old fashioned Kiwi values.

"There are 55 of Maui dolphins in the world and they live within our waters,” says Tamati.

'If their situation isn't remedied immediately, soon enough we are going to be part of the generation that allowed their extinction.”

A report released by the International Whaling Commission recently urged the NZ Government to do more to protect the world's smallest and rarest dolphin population.

Already this week the number of individual Kiwis who signed Greenpeace's "Sack Simon" petition has climbed to more than 23,000.

Greenpeace spokesperson Michael Tritt says there are more people are calling to sack Simon than the 21,971 who voted for him to win the Tauranga seat in 2011.

"This attack on the last 55 remaining Maui dolphin follows previous moves by Bridges to act on behalf of the fossil fuel industry at all costs," says Michael.

Speaking to SunLive today, Simon says it is everybody's right to protest, but feels they have got the wrong end of the stick.

'There is a negligible risk to Maui's dolphin from petroleum activity. The area they are concerned about has had petroleum activity for over 40 years and despite a huge amount of work to identify issues there hasn't been a single incident where petroleum has interfered with the dolphin,” says Simon.

'When you have got a $3billion a year industry in Taranaki that supports many thousands of jobs there it would be lunacy to shut it down on the basis of exceptionally small risks that hasn't caused any known problems.”

The latest political attack comes after Simon admitted in April he was not aware New Zealand's largest forest park - the 200,000 hectare Victoria Forest Park in Greymouth – was part of …offered up for possible drilling and mining.

"His reckless agenda is increasingly out of step with New Zealanders' desire to protect their land, water and native species, and to act on climate change. John Key must sack him now,” says Michael.

Tamati says the protest is not about politics, but New Zealanders standing up for Kiwi values.

'The mauling of Maui's dolphins for money ahead of the environment isn't one of them.”

There will be several speakers, as well as a peaceful march from The Strand starting at 10am on Saturday. People wishing to join are to meet at 9.30am at the centre of Devonport Road.


Hypocrisy can be entertaining

Posted on 19-06-2014 16:56 | By Annalist

Wonder if the protestors use oil in their everyday lives? Wonder if they know where it comes from? If we're going to get precious about possible but not likely risks, then we'd better close down all oil production full stop. Thank goodness we have a sensible energy minister like Simon Bridges. His re-election is well deserved.

Just another Useless politician.

Posted on 19-06-2014 18:29 | By dgk

Obvious that Bridges doesn't actually care about wiping out Maui dolphins.

Re: Hypocrisy can be entertaining

Posted on 19-06-2014 21:30 | By Time for change

We are well aware. Id suggest you take a look at Collapse (documentary) and see just where humanities oil addiction is taking us. I myself are open to a new way of living, im happy to make changes and give up "wants" to live more in balance with this amazing place we call earth. Life is precious and we need to stop destroying it.


Posted on 20-06-2014 12:23 | By Captain Sensible

Simon Bridges is a nodding yes man for John Key who runs with the hares and hunts with the hounds.

Re: Time for a change

Posted on 20-06-2014 13:01 | By Annalist

It is very good to know that you are open to a new way of living, but the question is have you put it in place? Have you made the changes? Do you still use oil in any form? Because if you do you are endangering someone or something's habitat. The dolphins are cute and appealing so people start caring about them but what about everything else? I will be impressed when Tamati, other politicians, actors and celebrities give up their vehicles and air travel because they are so concerned. Until then my hypocrisy detector is on full alert.

Sensible, thats a joke

Posted on 20-06-2014 13:22 | By captainbirdseye

Come on Annalist, How on earth can you call Simon Bridges sensible, He has about as much of an idea about conservation in NZ as Mickey mouse does. Its just another bloody arrogant National politician doing what they all do!!! Cash is King and Sod the public, Dolphins and National Parks. Make your vote count at the next election.


Posted on 20-06-2014 13:24 | By JNMCMatua

Wonder if there was not an election rapidly approaching if this aspiring candidate led protest would have ever eventuated. Wonder if the 23000 signatories to the petition might personally attend the protest. probably not, that would involve using fuel.

14 GK

Posted on 20-06-2014 13:39 | By 1 4 GK

This is "not political" Tamati? Yeah, right! That said though, I really do hope the dolphins are not at risk as Bridges has said.

Now if you are talking hypocrisy!!!!

Posted on 20-06-2014 14:04 | By Sambo Returns

lets talk for a while about Mr Cunliffe, who has just won a gold medal at the "Hypocrisy Games"Simon Bridges does need to show a little elan, but he still has his learner plates on when it comes to the esteemed Labour Party leader, Nick Smith has not opened his mouth with out having his cards stacked properly, to not do so would be political suicide, so how intelligent is the Labour Leader????, and why would you want someone that cannot recall standing on his "hobby horse" decrying the ethics of his opposition running the country.... give me a break.

Re: Hypocrisy can be entertaining

Posted on 21-06-2014 02:35 | By Time for change

Ive made many changes, yes i walk my talk. No am not living a completely oil free life. Yes i understand im still damaging life. I care about all life not just dolphins but they are a great reason to stop this exploration of oil and gas. I also would be impressed to see all those you mentioned give up air travel and cars, tho that is just the tip of the iceberg as im sure your well aware, oil is used in plastics, paints, fertilizers, rubber etc. Is there an endless supply of oil? Do you ever think about what kind of planet you will leave for your children/grandchildren? COLLASPE on youtube is a great eyeopener about oil . I love that your using the word hypocrisy, as its going to help everyone that sees this page (that's protesting) use less oil. :)

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