Denys Trussell & Bob Tait: ‘Friends of the Earth’ Has New Zealand compromised its Nuclear Free status?

Interviewed by

Tim Lynch

Denys Trussell & Bob Tait: ‘Friends of the Earth’ Has New Zealand compromised its Nuclear Free status?

Not only was NZ the first ‘major country’ in the 20th century, to become Nuclear Free, it also was the first country to ‘ban the irradiation of food’ with caesium 137. But what happened next is that we as a people, became complacent, disengaged and distracted.

There is even more to this nuclear episode - that we are allowing concentrated uranium oxide shipments into NZ ports en route to other countries, for maximising.

Denys says that changes have to take place in the ‘consciousness and the sentiments’ of near on 5 million New Zealanders as well as the rest of the world’s population to address what is really taking place today.

In 1974 FOE - Friends of the Earth started up in NZ so as to speak up for most environmental issues. Stating that social and ecological consciousness has to grow to be able to counter these increasing trends of disconnection from the planet that sustains us … and that we are also running into a generational problem that Bob hinted at in the introduction - of unknowingness of the issues by our youth.

Irradiated food entering NZ with poor or microscopic labelling.

Yet, during this time NZ also became the first country on Earth to ban the irradiation of food - However in the 1990’s because we lost our ‘ sovereignty’ through the CER - Closer Economic Relations with Australia - when both countries merged their regulatory authorities thus Food Standards NZ and every Australia State and Capital Territory got one vote only. It’s not like one vote one country like with the United Nations and so NZ had to go along with Australia’s Pro Irradiation stance, being out voted every time.

The result means that a whole range of exported Australian fruit and vegetables are imported into NZ and becomes our diet - which is irradiated with caesium 137.

First they started off with mangoes which was regarded as a sweetener - and now tomatoes and capsicums are irradiated so are grapes, pip fruit and citrus fruit.

Yet the labelling of such treatment continues to be poorly addressed and most people do not know that they could be eating nuclear irradiated food.

Concentrated uranium oxide shipments entering

Another large but silent issue is about concentrated uranium oxide shipments through NZ ports en-route to other countries.

This contravenes our Nuclear Free policy.

Up to 800 ton shipments of ‘concentrated uranium’ have been coming through the ports of Auckland - and the NZ workers at the port working on these ships were never told of these shipments - and this was completely under the public radar and unknowing NZ has no capability to deal with an accident or spillage inside these ships. The uranium is stored in the bow of the ship at the lowest levels and when asked why, was told that it is the furthest from the crews quarters - but that section of the ship is also the most affected area with storms at sea. FOE say that they have been shown photographs of containers of other goods that have been damaged by storms at sea and Bob says they look like they have been attacked by giant can openers.

So these two issues are ongoing.

Logging of old growth forests

Most of the important matters of FOE are long term environmental challenges that are almost hidden from the NZ public attention - they are background issues and yet are of critical importance - for instance FOE’s first involvement was to halt the logging of vast beech forests in the South Island that has actually been an ongoing process of 30 years of activism. The fact that this indigenous forestry project that was halted took 30 years of focus to bring the worst aspects of that to a halt. But there are still dangers of that type of project happening again as there are signs of the reemergence of the idea that it is legitimate to log forests that are on public land.

Another silent issue is: Gene Editing

Gene Editing and Gene Drives and an acronym - CHRISPR which are now wedging their way into NZ and FOE says they are probably perilous technologies - they may have some uses - though it is surmised that this is going to be used for military application and the research is going to be financed by DARPA - as there is a weaponised dimension to this technology - and used on human populations in a negative way.

Government complicity forces punitive costs to lodging appeals

Today to appeal against any environmental or ecological assault in NZ has become very expensive - where it once cost $50 to lodge an appeal to save some ecological treasure in this country some years ago, the previous National administration made it more punitive to take an issue to court, that it now costs $500 under the Resource Management Act to protect our ‘taonga’ (treasures) - our heritage and for a small volunteer ecological group, it is debilitating. Then they have to put up surety of costs - that could then be up to $10 - 20,000 - but first the Government will take your $500 and you may never get to court. The game is rigged. It’s stacked against the people - by ’the system’.

Being so, that both overseas and local business interests have been far more successful than environmental protectors. It’s unfortunate - yet that is the reality. There is no legal aid for cases brought about for the public interest, this needs to be addressed.

Note that a good judge and magistrate can determine in 5 minutes if this is a genuine case. Wherever an environmental case being brought is merely vexatious or important, Denys says it would not cost the Government very much at all to set up such a system, where important and authentic cases are heard with the help of legal aid.
This will allow the people’s voice to speak and to be heard in our own court system. Note that we NZers pay through our taxes for this court system as well as pay the salaries of the judges as well as the court rooms - as they are our courts.

Government Organisations not doing enough?
Just as the officials who are meant to be safeguarding the environment employed by organisations like DOC, (Department of Conservation) Ministry for the Environment, Land Care, etc- all these large Government organisations - we taxpayers already pay for them.They are actually our employees however they act as if we are asking them a special, favour to merely humbly knock on there door.

1080 another bogey that won’t go away

At present there is a new exposee on 1080 and insect death - originally it was designed as an insecticide - yes it does cause insects to die - DOC knows this is so and this information has been suppressed - but under the Official Information Access - recently a researcher was able to get information released. The original scientist Dr Mike Meads was going to present some of these findings to the NZ Royal Society but 10 days before he was going to do his presentation DOC fired him and closed down the whole story.

Here is Mike Meads telling us prior to his death.



NZ was the first country to introduce an Atomic Energy Act not long after the end of the 2nd World War and the DSIR (Department of Scientific Industrial Research) produced a booklet on it.
Atomic Energy Act 1945 – Radioactive minerals – Te Ara ...
https://teara.govt.nz/en/document/4781/atomic-energy-act-1945

Jun 12, 2006 - The purpose of the Atomic Energy Act 1945 was 'to make provision for the control in New Zealand of the means of producing atomic energy and for that purpose to provide for the mining and treatment of the ores of uranium and other elements which may be used for the production of atomic energy,
This insightful and shocking interview covers many other subjects as well.

If you have questions about Friends of the Earth

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Thank you,
Tim



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Tim Lynch

Tim Lynch

Tim Lynch, is a New Zealander, who is fortunate in that he has whakapapa, or a bloodline that connects him to the Aotearoan Maori. He has been involved as an activist for over 40 years - within the ecological, educational, holistic, metaphysical, spiritual & nuclear free movements. He sees the urgency of the full spectrum challenges that are coming to meet us, and is putting his whole life into being an advocate for todays and tomorrows children. 'To Mobilise Consciousness.'

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