Earth to dolphin lovers – Labour aren’t going to drill and kill Maui’s Dolphins


You would think days after all guiltily being manipulated into running National’s manufactured Donghua Liu smear the media would maybe pause before creating their next over hyped story.

Apparently not.

Breathless posturing by the media insinuating that Labour somehow want to drill in the marine reserve that Maui’s Dolphins live in because they’ve apparently ‘u-turned’. The insanity is of course that Labour were the first party to introduce the Maui’s dolphin sanctuary and set net ban. Labour couldn’t love these dolphins more if they tried!

Labour’s position is that the industry has to prove they could drill without damaging the Dolphins or their habitat. The threshold an oil company would have to reach to guarantee that suggests it could never bloody happen. Labour have also sided with DoC over the seismic surveying and said that until it can be proven safe they shouldn’t go ahead. They’ll even resource DoC to implement tougher marine mammal protections, and they’ve done all that while balancing the regional needs for industry.

Of all the things to try and set Labour up for, not loving the Maui’s Dolphins is really the most ridiculous. When will Brooke Sabin do a breaking story about David Cunliffe hating kittens?

Honestly, if it’s in the NZ mainstream media, you seriously have to double check it first.


  1. True Martyn, Labour have put in place most of the current protection for Maui’s and Hector’s dolphins and that should be acknowledged. But no-one should allow mining in a Marine Mammal Sanctuary. Otherwise it’s not a Sanctuary.
    Accepting industry’s proof that activities are safe has failed the dolphins so far, why should we continue, especially when it’s the world’s rarest dolphin?
    The Code of Conduct for seismic testing is a voluntary code. But seismic testing is proven to harm cetaceans.
    All those other commitments are great, and Labour has good policy now too, but there should be no mining in Maui’s habitat or in a Marine Mammal Sanctuary set up to save them.

  2. A few years ago I heard a story on Our Changing World, the National Radio science programme at 9pm every Thursday that interviewed New Zealand scientist who had researched what was needed to be done to save both the Hector and Maui dolphins. Protection accorded to them so far is only part of what is necessary to see them survive and increase in number. The research has been done, he facts known. It now just needs whatever government is in power to act on them.
    This may be it here:

    This article might be useful as well:

  3. Martyn, yes, Labour does say this… “the industry has to prove they could drill without damaging the Dolphins or their habitat.” And certainly the chance is very very small that the industry will pass the test. But this wording does not rule out that the oil industry will be allowed to go ahead and actually prove it in the sanctuary. And Labour is saying nothing about the exploration permits they approved in the same sanctuary when last in government. Their policies to keep on with oil exploration simply do not match the needs of the environment. Then there’s their position in allowing dangerous/invasive commercial fishing practices still in the sanctuary. The Greens are the only party saying that they will ban both practices. Labour is deliberately being soft on the issue to appease the oil lobby. Despite how Labour is trying to do something for this sanctuary (and this at least is a start), they are not doing enough and need to try a lot harder to come up with policy that will help save these dolphins. If you get oil companies throwing mega bucks at litigation at Labour so that they can drill there (with crony-pseudo science they falsely claim backs them up) then Labour has to eat its words on their policy, all because they are currently failing to truly commit to what all the actual science out there is recommending – no oil exploration (and no invasive commercial fisheries) in the sanctuary. Simple as that.

  4. If there is only an tiny tiny risk of allowing oil companies to drill, why won’t they simply rule it out? Much easier policy express on protest signs than, “No more drilling, unless industry studies show the risk is negligible.”

    Either they support it or against it, or are terrible political communicators.

  5. Regardless of who is in government, this system is going to try to keep on keeping on, and all you little Kiwi Savers want to see a return on your investments, then ‘they’ are going to have to take out what is left of Nature be it Maui’s Dolphins, pollinators, or Arctic sea ice.
    I’m sure most of us will want a new pair of shoes this year (I’ve bought 4 so far) well so dose the other 7.16 billion of us.
    Even if we could stand still economically, and just maintain what we currently have, the dolphins are still toast.
    We can’t maintain the current population, let alone grow it. AND have ‘Nature’.
    Non of them have a bloody clue, we are governed by the very people we deserve.
    Thank god this experiment is nearly over, it is such a shame we are taking everything with us.

  6. Everyone conveniently forgets. It’s not about the risk of poisoning dolphins as a consequence of oil spills; it’s about making the oceans uninhabitable for almost any extant species via the overheating and acidification that accompany burning fossil fuels.

    That is the real sacred cow that can never be slaughtered….. fossil fuel addiction. Labour, National, it’s all the same: fossil fuel addiction, consumerism and death of the planet.

  7. Then why doesn’t he just rule it out entirely? He’s obviously trying to still pander to the oil industry, and it’s pathetic. Why can’t he just grow a spine and be 100% against the drilling?

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