Hurrah for the cops who have arrested the tosser who was skippering a protest boat called the San Pietro during oil survey protests.
Charges have been laid. Good.
An NZPA report records the splendid work done in the name of law and order –
Elvis Teddy, the captain of San Pietro, was arrested for breaching the Maritime Transport Act after police boarded his boat yesterday morning amid protests against Brazilian company Petrobras’s search for oil.
Mr Teddy was charged with operating a vessel in unsafe manner under section 65 of the Maritime Transport Act, a police spokesman told NZPA today.
He was released on bail last night to appear in court in Tauranga on Friday.
Police are reviewing evidence and may lay further charges.
The maximum penalty for the offence is up to 12 months in prison or a fine of up to $10,000.
Just 12 months in the slammer? Alf must have dropped off when that bit of the legislation was being debated, because it would have been his strong inclination to argue the toss in favour of making this a hanging offence.
The police told NZPA the San Pietro was manned by local iwi and was stationed with three other protest boats in front of the survey ship Orient Explorer in the Raukumara Basin, off the coast.
After repeated warnings the three other boats moved away but the San Pietro stayed and deployed buoys and fishing lines in the path of the survey ship, causing “grave safety concerns” for the ship’s master, Superintendent Bruce Dunstan said.
After further warnings police, who had been stationed on nearby navy ships, boarded the San Pietro from inflatable boats.
Mr Teddy was arrested and taken back to the navy warship HMNZS Taupo, and returned to Tauranga police station.
Teddy has hired a lawyer of the female persuasion, a Dayle Takitimu, who has told Radio New Zealand he would challenge police claims the protesters acted dangerously.
She is spouting lots of nautical stuff.
San Pietro was stationary and more than 1.5 nautical miles, or 2.8km, from the Orient Explorer when it radioed the ship to advise it of its location, Ms Takitimu said.
Because the survey ship was moving, under collision regulations it had to give way to the San Pietro, she said.
The NZPA report does not say if tribal leader Rikirangi Gage has been arrested.
Alf reckons he should have been, because he is reported to have radioed the captain of the Orient Explorer and told him he was not welcome in these waters.
It seems he was huffing and puffing about iwi property rights in a manner which Alf reckons is severely stretching credibility as well as grossly exaggerating tribal entitlements.
“We are defending tribal waters and our rights from reckless Government policies and the threat of deep sea drilling, which our hapu have not consented to and continue to oppose.”
The bloody Maori Party, of course, is working on a bill that will oblige the Government to consult iwi before granting licences for offshore oil exploration.
The local Maori apparently are in high dudgeon about the need to protect their kai, and maybe their wairura or something.
So will they give up their cars and motor bikes and return to pre-European methods of transport?
Nah. You can betcha they will not.
Oh, and is the San Pietro an environmentally friendly vessel powered by the wind or (even better) by the iwi crew heaving mightily on their paddles?
Don’t think so.
What we are learning is that these buggers are keen to burn oil. It’s just that they want it to come from somewhere else, regardless of the implications for our balance of payments deficit and for the the threat to the kai in the country where it is drilled.
A final thought. The cops who are looking for further charges to lay should look real hard at the skipper’s name.
If it isn’t a serious offence to be called Elvis, it should be.