More on Norman’s ‘protest at sea’ lie

‘Nookin’ at Kiwiblog has provided the details showing how Russel Norman’s claims that “John Key has now banned protest at sea” and “Overnight, National took away our constitutional right to freedom of speech” are blatantly dishonest.

Norman’s comment that the government has “banned” protest at sea is dishonest. There is no other word for it.

Here is the section. What the section stops is deliberate interference or damage. It also prescribes a “no go” zone of up to 500 m. The actual distance will depend on the circumstances of every individual case.

If ever this section is considered in court, you can reasonably expect that the court will recognise the absolute right to protest but will observe that the right is subject to rights of, by way of example, Shell, to undertake lawful activities without damage or interference.

This is the problem with the Greens. They do not recognise that anybody else has any rights if they are in any way inconsistent with what the Greens believe in. If the Greens cannot ban it legally, then they take the view that they can disrupt it regardless of the consequences and the financial costs.

[101BInterfering with structure or operation in offshore area
(1) A person commits an offence if the person intentionally engages in conduct that results in—
(a)damage to, or interference with, any structure or ship that is in an offshore area and that is, or is to be, used in mining operations or for the processing, storing, preparing for transporting, or transporting of minerals; or
(b)damage to, or interference with, any equipment on, or attached to, such a structure or ship; or
(c)interference with any operations or activities being carried out, or any works being executed, on, by means of, or in connection with such a structure or ship.
(2) A person commits an offence if—
(a)the person is the master of a ship that, without reasonable excuse, enters a specified non-interference zone for a permitted prospecting, exploration, or mining activity; or
(b)the person leaves a ship and, without reasonable excuse, enters a specified non-interference zone for a permitted prospecting, exploration, or mining activity.
(3) In prosecuting an offence against subsection (2), it is not necessary for the prosecution to prove that the person intended to commit the offence.
(4) A person who commits an offence against subsection (1) is liable on summary conviction,—
(a)in the case of an individual, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months or to a fine not exceeding $50,000:
(b)in the case of a body corporate, to a fine not exceeding $100,000.
(5) A person who commits an offence against subsection (2) is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding $10,000.
(6) For the purposes of subsection (2), the chief executive may specify a non-interference zone by notice published in a fortnightly edition of the New Zealand Notices to Mariners (under Part 25 of the Maritime Rules).
(7) A notice must specify—
(a)the permitted prospecting, mining, or exploration activity to which the non-interference zone relates; and
(b)the locality of the activity; and
(c)the area of the non-interference zone to which the activity relates (which may be up to 500 metres from any point on the outer edge of the structure or ship to which the activity relates or, if there is any equipment attached to the structure or ship, 500 metres from any point on the outer edge of the equipment); and
(d)the period (which may be up to 3 months) for which the notice has effect.
(8) The chief executive, when determining the area of a non-interference zone for the purposes of a notice, must take into account the nature of the activity, including the size of any structure or ship to which the activity relates and any equipment attached to the structure or ship necessary for the carrying out of the activity.
(9) No proceedings for an offence against this section may be brought in a New Zealand court in respect of a contravention of this section on board, or by a person leaving, a foreign ship without the consent of the Attorney-General.]

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