The Green Party is calling on the Government to send a navy vessel to the Southern Ocean to ensure Japan adheres to international law when it resumes whaling early next year.
Japan has announced that it will resume whaling after a one-year hiatus, which followed an International Court of Justice ruling that its whale hunt for “scientific purposes” could not be justified.
“We are glad the Government has spoken out against Japan’s resumption of this cruel and inhumane practice, but New Zealand must do more,” said Green Party conservation spokesperson Eugenie Sage.
“Japan is determined to flout the Court’s ruling, even though it’s been proven that their so-called ‘scientific research’ can be done without actually killing whales.
“Giving Japan a verbal telling-off isn’t going to save these beautiful animals from needless slaughter.
“Countries that are opposed to whaling, including New Zealand, are going to have to show some backbone, and follow up their condemnation with action.
“If and when Japan breaches the Court’s ruling, New Zealand should send a navy vessel to monitor the hunting boats, to ensure that unlimited whaling does not occur under the guise of scientific research.
“Many New Zealanders will be absolutely appalled by Japan’s decision to resume whaling.
“New Zealand has long been at the forefront of the international movement to ban whaling, and Japan is testing our leadership on this issue once again.
“Our Government must take every reasonable measure to protect these beautiful whales from being needlessly hunted down by Japanese vessels,” said Ms Sage.