Friday, July 3, 2015

Tourists Forced To Help Massacre Whales

Come to the beautiful Faroe Islands...and help massacre whales!
Tourists in the Faroes face stiff penalties, if they do not report migrating whales and dolphins to local authorities!
According to new laws, tourists must report all sightings of whales and dolphins, so the cetaceans can be slaughtered in the infamous drive hunt, the grindadráp. Visitors who do not comply can face penalties of up to 3,000 euros, and imprisonment of two years.
Sea Shepherd's Operation Sleppid Grindini members were informed of the penalties by local authorities...who were quick to point out that the law applied to all visiting tourists, not just those with SS.
Despite these laws and revised penalties, the Danish Navy has confirmed that it will not assist with reporting or other involvement in the grindadráp...unlike in the past!
I can only imagine how those opposed to, or indeed unaware of, the killing tradition will react to this. Oh, what a marketing opportunity! 'Visit the Faroes! Bask in its natural beauty! Go home with blood on your hands and unnecessary deaths on your conscience!' Yes, even tourists on whale-watching tours can be drawn into the killings.
While these laws are obviously intended to limit SS's effectiveness in protecting whales, the severe implications will most certainly drive tourist money away from the region. It's like visiting Zimbabwe and being forced into rhino poaching!
The annual whale massacres have garnered negative reactions from some in the tourist industry. Since 2013, two German cruise line companies, AIDA and Hapag-Lloyd, have publically expressed their concerns about the grindadráp to the Faroes govt, calling for an end to the slaughter.
In their enthusiasm to enforce these new penalties and restrain SS, the Faroese have overlooked the potential threat to tourism!

...ironically, on the very day this news broke (29 June 2015), a second massacre occurred, this time at Hvannasund.
Sea Shepherd estimates that 20-30 pilot whales were killed in the slaughter. The SS ship Brigitte Bardot was patrolling approx.25 miles to the south, and was not able to reach the area in time.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

China Airlines Back Next Summer

China Airlines' first commercial flight into Christchurch, Dec.2014
Taiwan's leading airline, China Airlines, says its first season of flying into Christchurch was so successful, it will expand the service by nearly 50% for the entire upcoming summer.
The airline says the increased services - and thousands more seats - are a direct result of a successful three-month service operated last Dec.2014, Jan.and Feb.2015.
China Airlines NZ Branch General Manager, Shirley Yang: "Our inaugural service last summer was a huge success. The Taipei-Sydney-Christchurch service was our most successful sector on our global network at that time, so it was an easy decision to expand the service next summer."
The service will operate three times a week from Taipei-SYD-CHC, and return the same way.
Estimates put the value of the Taiwanese visitors carried last summer by China Airlines at $15m+, so the increased service is great news for the regional economies of the South Island.
Christchurch International Airport has seen passenger numbers over the recent summer months grow well above the national averages. Statistics show more than 70% of the passengers on the China Airlines service are from North Asian markets, or further afield, highlighting the significant interest in the South Island from long-haul markets.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Could They Somehow Be Related #7? - NZ Taxpayers House The Boys

Gerard and Alex: do these lads have anything in common???
NZ taxpayers have shelled out almost $11 million on a luxury NY apartment for Our Man at the UN!!
Da Man is Gerard van Bohemen (previously dep.secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade - yeup, one of McCully's Mob), appointed NZ's permanent rep at the United Nations. And hey, when the job includes this pad, wouldn't YOU wanna be there permanently TOO??!!!
The NZ$10.9 million/US$7.9 million pied-a-terre in Manhattan was signed-off by our ineffectual Foreign Munster 'Womble' McCully, who justified his decision by claiming the new property's cost will be offset by the sale of the old residence...and anyway the new property would be a working space as well as a residence. Riiiiight!!
Opposition foreign affairs spokesman David Shearer calls the purchase outrageous: "Two years ago McCully gutted the best staff out of the ministry and now he's using that money to splash out on a flash NY pad." Green Party spokesman Kennedy Graham: "This is just another case of wasteful spending by a ministry already under fire for its use of the public purse."
Which lad gets which room? No fighting now -
they BOTH have working space AND accomodation!
...meanwhile, another hi-flyer is being housed by the taxpayer.
This week, 'Heart of the City' founder Alex Swney was sentenced to 5 years 7 months in jail. The disgraced former Auckland boss stole millions of dollars from the business group...because he felt he was not paid enough.
Ha, maybe he should have chosen a career in the Diplo Service!