Military To Be Used Against NZ Peace Flotilla

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Above Photo: We say No to War sign seen at a 2007 anti-war protest. (Photo by Thiago Santos on flickr)

The government has indicated it plans to deploy the NZ military against a peaceful flotilla opposing the entry of warships into Auckland Harbour in November.

“This is a major crackdown on protests. It even bans swimming in parts of the Harbour while these warships are around,” said Auckland Peace Action member Valerie Morse.

The NZ Navy is hosting wargames with a US warship in mid-November in the Hauraki Gulf. Auckland Peace Action is organising a flotilla to demonstrate New Zealanders’ opposition to war and weapons.

“This country has an incredibly proud history of on-water actions against war and nuclear weapons. However, this government is determined that it won’t be embarrassed while it is hosting the US military here. It is effectively declaring martial law in these particular parts of the Harbour, and denying people freedom to use the water.”

Transport Minister Simon Bridges issued an intention to declare a Major Maritime Event (https://gazette.govt.nz/notice/id/2016-go4597) starting10 November. It allows the NZDF to be used as enforcement officers to ensure that people stay out of the areas listed in the declaration, and to use force if necessary.

“The NZ Navy war games, dubbed ‘Operation Mahi Tangaroa,’ are part of a demonstration of US naval superiority for the protection of multinational big business, including deep sea oil exploration, GMO aquaculture, seabed mining and fisheries exploitation.”

Full text of declaration:

Notice of Intention to Declare a Major Maritime Event

Pursuant to section 200A(3)(d) of the Maritime Transport Act 1994, I give notice that I have received an application from Auckland Transport to declare the Royal New Zealand Navy International Naval Review 2016 to be an event to which section 200B of the Maritime Transport Act 1994 applies for the period from 10 November 2016 to 22 November 2016 inclusive, and that I intend to make a declaration to that effect by notice in the New Zealand Gazette.

Proposed Area Affected by the Application

The area in respect of which the application is made is defined as follows:

General Designated Areas

The Waitemata Harbour, Rangitoto Channel and sections of the Inner Hauraki Gulf. The area covers all navigable waters with exact positions of boundaries set out below. Maps depicting the designated areas will be published in the New Zealand Herald and on the Auckland Council website

www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz

just prior to the event commencing.

Gulf Harbour Anchorages

36°38.715 S latitude, 174°45.900 E longitude (North-Western Anchorage Boundary); to

36°38.715 S latitude, 174°47.720 E longitude (North-Eastern Anchorage Boundary); to

36°40.280 S latitude, 174°47.720 E longitude (South-Eastern Anchorage Boundary); to

36°40.280 S latitude, 174°45.900 E longitude (South-Western Anchorage Boundary.

Waitemata Harbour and Motutapu Anchorages

36°50.103 S latitude, 174°44.552 E longitude (Auckland Harbour Bridge South-Western Pillar) along shore line; to

36°50.427 S latitude, 174°47.093 E longitude (Ferguson Container Terminal) along shore line; to

36°50.860 S latitude, 174°47.932 E longitude (Hobson Bay Wave screen); to

36°50.673 S latitude, 174°48.883 E longitude (Okahu Bay Wave screen); to

36°50.629 S latitude, 174°48.927 E longitude (Orakei Wharf); to

36°50.000 S latitude, 174°49.867 E longitude (Bean Rock); to

36°49.453 S latitude, 174°50.500 E longitude (Front Lead Light); to

36°46.918 S latitude, 174°49.345 E longitude (Rangitoto Beacon) along the shore line; to

36°46.186 S latitude, 174°52.754 E longitude (Boulder Bay); to

36°41.757 S latitude, 174°56.481 E longitude (Eastern Anchorage Boundary); to

36°40.590 S latitude, 174°54.482 E longitude (Northern Anchorage Boundary); to

36°47.101 S latitude, 174°46.560 E longitude (Takapuna Boat Ramp) along shoreline; to

36°49.760 S latitude, 174°46.370 E longitude (Stanley Point); to

36°49.643 S latitude, 174°44.857 E longitude (Auckland Harbour Bridge North-Western Pillar); to

36°50.103 S latitude, 174°44.552 E longitude (Auckland Harbour Bridge South-Western Pillar).

Proposed Conditions and Requirements

Within the designated area defined above, the following conditions and requirements apply:

Anchorages

A restricted area of 60 metres around any warships at anchor in the designated Hauraki Gulf anchorages.

A restricted area of 60 metres around any warships at anchor in the Waitemata Harbour.

Downtown Auckland Restricted Areas

Wynyard Wharf extending 60 metres (from the face of the berth or from outboard of any vessel berthed alongside) east towards Queens Wharf as well as extending 60 metres north from the northern end of Wynyard Wharf.

The Western side of Queens Wharf extending 60 metres (from the face of the berth or from outboard of any vessel berthed alongside) west as well as extending 60 metres north from the northern end of Queens Wharf.

Downtown Ferry Terminal Basin between Princes Wharf and Queens Wharf and extending 60 metres north from the northern end of each wharf.

The area of water known as the ferry basin comprises the entire water space between Princes and Queens Wharf. This is a restricted area and access to this area will only be granted to specifically authorised commercial vessel traffic and or any other specific vessel authorised by the harbourmaster.

Commercial Wharf Area (Ports of Auckland Limited) Restricted Areas

The navigable waters south of a line from the northern-most point of Ferguson Wharf extending to the most northern point of Queens Wharf is a restricted area and only vessels authorised by the Ports of Auckland Limited Port Facilities Security Manager and/or the harbourmaster may enter this area.

Devonport Naval Base Restricted Area

The navigable water adjacent to the Devonport Naval Base and defined as “Defence Area” is a restricted area and vessels are to keep at least 200 metres clear unless authorised otherwise by the Royal New Zealand Navy.

Auckland Harbour Speed restriction: Auckland Council Navigation Safety Bylaw 2014, Clause 60.

The 12 knot speed restriction which currently exists as defined by the Auckland Council Navigation Safety Bylaw Clause 60 must be complied with.

Duties of masters of vessels under 500 gross tonnage: Auckland Council Navigation Safety Bylaw 2014, Clause 54 is to apply at all times.

The person in charge of a vessel under 500 gross tonnage must not allow their vessel to impede the navigation of any large vessel if the vessels are in the pilotage area.

Moving Prohibited Zone: Auckland Council Navigation Safety Bylaw 2014, Clause 55 is to apply at all times:

A moving prohibited zone extending to 100 metres astern and 100 metres to each side of a large vessel, and continuing at such width to 500 metres ahead, following the line of the buoyed channel when changing course, is reserved around a large vessel when that large vessel is underway within the pilotage areas of Auckland.

When navigating within a marked channel, the moving prohibited zone to the side of the large vessel is reduced to the width of the marked channel and the zone ahead of the large vessel must follow the line of the marked channel.

The owner or person in charge of a vessel must not navigate the vessel within the moving prohibited zone of a large vessel, within the pilotage area of Auckland.

For the purpose of this clause, a tug and barge is considered a composite unit.

No person may jump, dive or swim from any wharf or structure within the permit area, other than for the purposes of saving another person’s life or unless authorised by the harbourmaster or a member of the New Zealand Police holding the powers of a constable.

Additional Restrictions

All vessels must comply with any temporary restrictions or directions issued by the Auckland Harbourmaster. Temporary restrictions or directions will be advertised on Marine Channel 12 every hour for the period they are in force. The first broadcast will occur as soon as practical and then every hour at approximately 15 minutes past the hour. In addition, advice to vessels to listen to these broadcasts will be transmitted on marine VHF channel 16, just prior to detailed broadcast on marine VHF channel 12.

From time to time, further specific areas that are determined as being necessary to restrict access to will be clearly marked. This will be by the positioning of appropriate harbourmaster special mark inflatable buoys.

Proposed Hours of Operation

The proposed declaration will apply 24 hours per day for the entire period from 10 November 2016 to 22 November 2016.

Means of Enforcement

Compliance with the above conditions and requirements will be enforced by appointed enforcement officers, as defined in section 200B(6) of the Maritime Transport Act 1994. The enforcement officers will be identified officers of the Auckland Council’s Harbourmaster’s staff, the New Zealand Police and the New Zealand Defence Force.

Under section 200B(5) of the Maritime Transport Act 1994, any person who contravenes this notice commits an offence and is liable for the relevant penalty prescribed in the Maritime Transport (Infringement Fees for Offences Relating to Major Maritime Events) Regulations 1999.

Application to Enforcement Officers

Enforcement officers are exempt from the rules or conditions contained in this notice where necessary to execute their duties, but must at all times navigate in accordance with Maritime Rule Part 22: Collision Prevention.

Comments on This Notice

Any person may forward written comments on this proposal to: Roger Brown (r.brown@transport.govt.nz), Ministry of Transport, PO Box 3175, Wellington, provided such comments are received no later than 5.00pm on Monday 29 August 2016.

Comments are submitted on the presumption that they will be made public. If submitters do not wish this to occur, a statement to that effect should be made.