Cunliffe versus Government on whaling decision

David Cunliffe has criticised the Government for being ‘asleep at the wheel’ over whaling in a Newstalk ZB interview:

TIM FOOKES:  Exactly. So the earlier the better, and I will get to one of your calls in just a moment, but just a quick comment on the issue that came out late last night over the court ruling on , I think this is a significant victory New Zealand and Australia.

DAVID CUNLIFFE: It’s fantastic. Well, it’s a significant victory for Australia. Where the hell was the New Zealand Government? I mean, we had New Zealanders testifying, but once again, the National Government’s asleep at the wheel. Kiwis hate whaling. We hate whaling and previous governments had a really strong record against it. Why did we leave it to the Aussies to take the thing to the International Court?

David Farrar at Kiwiblog disagrees in Talking down NZ’s contribution:

Let’s look at the official court ruling from the International Court of Justice:


New Zealand was represented by no less than the Attorney-General, the Deputy Solicitor-General, an Ambassador, five MFAT staff and one of the Attorney-General’s staff. Not exactly asleep at the wheel.

NZ is mentioned 53 times in the judgement.

And ‘queenstfarmer’ points back to 2008 in a comment:

Clark drops legal action plan

Prime Minister Helen Clark will push for a diplomatic end to whaling after the Government dropped plans for legal action against Japan.

Conservation Minister Steve Chadwick said legal action had been examined with “great care”, but difficulties had been identified. She would not disclose what the difficulties were.

Miss Clark said “fantastic” legal advice – from New Zealand whaling commissioner Sir Geoffrey Palmer – suggested it would be difficult to mount a successful case at the United Nations International Court of Justice.

If this is accurate it’s another own goal by Cunliffe and his research team.

Half cocked negative politics can be a double whammy when it isn’t even accurate.

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1 Comment

  1. Goldie

     /  2nd April 2014

    “it’s another own goal by Cunliffe and his research team”.
    I think it is more simple than that. Cunliffe just makes stuff up.


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