Māui dolphins deserve better

Like many of us, I feel a deep connection to our oceans. The rich marine life that surrounds our shores is what makes our place in the world so special and why we’re so passionate about protecting it.

There are only 63 of the unique Māui dolphins left in the world. Only 63. And they and other marine life are under threat from potential seabed mining off the Taranaki coast in the exact area of a marine mammal sanctuary. Mining in a sanctuary is not acceptable.

I’m really disappointed that in 2018 there are new proposals for seabed mining and an exploration permit has been granted by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. We need to update the law to better protect our oceans.

Let’s be clear – the Green Party does not support exploration or mining in marine mammal sanctuaries and has consistently campaigned against seabed mining.

Last year we stood arm in arm with Taranaki locals and declared our commitment to creating a whale sanctuary. We stand by that and I’m working hard to make it happen.

We’ve expressed our concerns around the impacts of exploration activities like seismic surveys to the Energy Minister. I am actively working to fix the Marine Mammals Protection Act to give dolphins and whales the protection they need.

As a part of this Government, we’ve taken a strong stand opposing all new offshore oil and gas exploration and we’re doing the work to implement the Government commitment to a policy of no new mines on conservation land. Seabed mining has no place in marine sanctuaries either.

Changing the laws so they protect our natural treasures isn’t a fast or easy task. But the Green Party has been a political force for two decades now and working for change has always been at the core of what we do and always will be.

To help support this work you can watch and share this video of Green MP Gareth Hughes talking about the precious Māui dolphins and what we’re doing to support them.