Stronger rules and response needed to protect beaches from oil spills

Stronger rules and enforcement to protect our beaches and marine environment are needed in the wake of new information that more than 360 oil spills have occurred in New Zealand waters since the 2011 Rena disaster, the Green Party said today.

“With summer just around the corner, we need better ways of protecting the beaches and seas that are so important to Kiwi ways of life,” Green Party environment spokesperson Eugenie Sage said.

“Every New Zealander has a birthright to swim in clean water, lie on clean sand, and catch fish that are safe to eat.

“The fact that people and vessels have spilled nearly four tonnes of oil and fuel into New Zealand’s coastal waters, in 363 spills in the last four years, shows that the current system isn’t working. Stronger rules, enforcement, and response capability are needed.

“It looks as if some regional councils respond more effectively than others when oil spills are reported, so the Ministry for the Environment needs to do its job and make sure all councils are up to scratch.

“Everyone on the water has a responsibility to take care and avoid making pollution, including recreational boaties. It’s clear that the oil and commercial fishing industries in particular need to do much better.

“The Green Party has a plan to protect beaches and the marine environment. Our plan includes through introducing compulsory shipping lanes like Norway and the UK have to reduce the risk of collision, improving Maritime New Zealand’s oil spill preparedness and response capability, holding people who spill oil financially accountable, and stopping risky deep sea oil drilling," said Ms Sage.
 

Latest Environment Announcements

Story

Green Party dismayed at delay in intensive winter grazing regulations

“The Government’s decision to cave into agribusiness and delay the implementation of critical regulations on intensive winter grazing is a bad outc...
Read More

Story

Seaweek: Green Party calls on New Zealanders to make submissions supporting Waiheke Rāhui to protect declining kaimoana

The Green Party supports the Rāhui placed around Waiheke Island by Ngāti Pāoa to protect declining kaimoana and as part of Seaweek, is asking New Z...
Read More

Story

Green Party calls on Government to stop dirty fishing practice of bottom trawling

The Green Party is calling on the Government to urgently stop dirty, degrading fishing practices in areas most vulnerable to destruction.
Read More

Story

Greens commit to ensuring strong oceans protection this term

The Green Party will work with Labour this term to ensure better protections for our oceans, Green MP Eugenie Sage said today.
Read More

Story

Successful prosecution of Talley’s deep-water fishing division shows need for more marine protected areas and better enforcement

Today’s ruling that Talley’s deep-water fishing division, Amaltal, is guilty of bottom trawling in the Hikurangi Marine Reserve demonstrates the ne...
Read More

Story

Green Party commits to stronger urban tree protection and no new mines on public conservation land

The Green Party is the only party in Parliament which is explicitly committing to protecting public conservation land and the indigenous plants and...
Read More