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Activists chain themselves to ship

Published: 10:54AM Wednesday September 16, 2009 Source: Newstalk ZB/ONE News

Greenpeace activists have chained themselves to a ship moored off Tauranga, protesting against a shipment of palm kernel animal feed.

The 12 activists have boarded the East Ambition, waiting to enter the Port of Tauranga and destined for Fonterra dairy farms.

The protestors are calling on Prime Minister John Key to halt imports of the palm kernel feed due to its impact on climate change and address intensive dairy farming in New Zealand.

"Fonterra's involvement in rainforest destruction and the massive climate impact this causes is criminal," says Jo McVeagh, an activist locked to one of the cranes.

Greenpeace Spokesman Simon Boxer says they boarded the ship around 9am on Wednesday morning, in what he calls a peaceful protest.

Boxer says they didn't encounter any opposition and things are peaceful on board, he says the ship's captain, the pilot, and the port authorities have all been notified.


Fonterra has been fighting off backlash over the past month after being accused of buying the cheap feed at the expense of New Zealand farmers and the environment.

Boxer says the revelation is a slap in the face of New Zealand grain grower, calling on Fonterra to stop the imports.

However Federated Farmers is rejecting the claims that the dairy feed is contributing to the destruction of rainforests.

They say the kernel is a waste product and the real cause of deforestation is consumer demand for palm oil based products.

Palm kernel imports went from 0.4 tonnes in 1999 to 455,000 tonnes in 2007 and then to 1.1 million tonnes in 2008.

Have the Greenpeace protestors gone too far? Or do you believe in their cause? Share your opinion on our message board below?

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  • jl555 said on 2009-09-18 @ 02:25 NZDT: Report abusive post

    How can John Key say that Fonterra purchasing PKE doesn't contribute to deforestation when it is a valuable part of the profits made from the growing of palm oil plants? His ignorance is consistently astounding.

  • Janeo said on 2009-09-17 @ 12:04 NZDT: Report abusive post

    Greenpeace has brought to the public attention yet another unsustainable business practice. Great publicity stunt. I hope John Key will do a lot more research on the subject deforestation and climate change.

  • Lanary said on 2009-09-17 @ 10:43 NZDT: Report abusive post

    I don't know about in indonesia but in malaysia you view from an aeroplane window as you eye can see, they every where, miles and mile of palm oil tree and even in cambodia the same. I don't know about deforesting. The protest gone a bit too far

  • jheb2007 said on 2009-09-17 @ 09:30 NZDT: Report abusive post

    The calls that palm kernel is just a by-product and that it would just rot on the

  • stojo01 said on 2009-09-17 @ 09:17 NZDT: Report abusive post

    Deforestation to plant Palm Oil trees is a major problem in Indonesia. Whether the kernels are a by product or not makes no difference, they still contribute to the commercial success of the plant. Where is the protest against the use of the palm oil plants primary product.?