Diversion is not appropriate for Russel Norman

Greenpeace head Russel Norman and two other activists can avoid convictions if they own up to swimming near a seismic survey ship off the Wairarapa coast during a protest.

The trio will be offered diversion as a way of resolving charges of interfering with the operation of the Amazon Warrior, an oil industry vessel that was carrying out exploratory survey work in April.

Norman, a former co-leader of the Green Party, along with Sara Howell and Gavin Mulvay, were among protesters aboard Greenpeace’s boat Taitu which “intercepted” the Amazon Warrior about 50 nautical miles off the Wairarapa coast.

They weren’t there by accident.  It was premeditated.  And they clearly did it for the publicity, some of which I’m feeding them right now.   None of that leads to diversion being an appropriate way out of a conviction.  

Norman has previously described the prosecution against the three as “morally repugnant” but accepting MBIE’s offer of diversion would involve an admission he broke the law.

The Amazon Warrior, the world’s largest seismic survey ship, was carrying out exploratory work for Statoil and Chevron off the Wairarapa Coast at the time of the protest.

He accused the Government of “prosecuting climate activists and pandering to oil companies” in a statement last month.

“Instead of protecting our communities and environment, the Government is wasting time and resources on taking peaceful protesters to court.”

Under the diversion scheme, those facing low-level charges can have the case against them dropped if they admit guilt and carry out agreed restitution, which can include making an apology and paying reparations.

I’ve found all of Russel Norman’s political and Greenpeace careers to be “morally repugnant”, but that doesn’t mean much.

He did break the law.

I propose a conviction with a suspended sentence.  If he does knowingly breaks the law again, he gets to wear all the consequences.


– Stuff

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.