I wonder what would happen to me if I chose to drive an 18-wheeled truck at you while you were sitting in your car with some friends, parked on the side of the road, and you caught it all on video? You all managed to get out of the car but only just and it was destroyed. Would you ask me to pay for your vehicle? Would you want to see me arrested?
This is what Pete Bethune (skipper of the Ady Gil) has done. He wanted justice and when no one else would, he stood up for himself and his crew and boarded the Shonan Maru No. 2 to make a citizen’s arrest of its captain, and hand him a bill for his destroyed boat.
The Ady Gil was not just a boat to Pete, it was his life for the last few years — he put all his money and energy into creating the world-record breaking, environmentally-friendly vessel, and then had to watch as it was sunk into the southern ocean because of the actions of illegal whalers.
Pete is now being held as a prisoner, being fed rice and cabbage in a Japanese jail, and our government is effectively doing nothing.
The Government needs to represent its citizens and put pressure on the Japanese to set Pete Bethune free. It should also demand that the Japanese co-operate with Maritime Safety New Zealand on the investigation into the ramming of the Ady Gil and then press charges against the Captain of the Shonan Maru No. 2.
The Government says it has an anti-whaling stance but it wants to make a deal with the whaling nations (Japan, Norway, Iceland) that would see commercial whaling legitimised. This makes New Zealand look hypocritical and gutless, setting us back decades.
We are strong enough to say no to the United States of America on nuclear issues and continue to trade with them, but when it comes to Japan and the slaughter of whales in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary we can’t seem to stand up and do what we know is right.
We need to say NO to Japan and stand strong and support the Australian Government’s proposal to end whaling in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary.