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Source: MIL-OSI Submissions

Source: Greenpeace

Alongside the veteran protest yacht Vega today in Auckland’s Waitematā Harbour, Greenpeace Aotearoa Programme Director Niamh O’Flynn presented a petition to Minister of Disarmament and Arms Control, Phil Twyford, calling on the New Zealand Government to “freeze oligarch assets” in Aotearoa.
“The true horror of President Putin’s assault on Ukraine has come into sharp focus over the past week. The New Zealand Government must take urgent action to make sanctions count by freezing oligarch assets here in Aotearoa – starting with Alexander Abramov.”
After calling for sanctions in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Greenpeace celebrated a win on March 9 when the Government announced the Russia Sanctions Act but has since pressed for the Government to sanction oligarchs in New Zealand to “make it count”.
Shortly after the Russia Sanctions Act was passed, Greenpeace joined the Aotearoa Peace Flotilla and sailed north to Helena Bay, where Russian billionaire oligarch Alexander Abramov has a 50 million dollar retreat, saying that “for the Government’s sanctions to mean anything, they have to be targeting Abramov as New Zealand’s wealthiest Russian investor.”
The flotilla was led into Helena Bay by Carmen Hetaraka of Te Uri o Hikihiki, mana whenua of the area. Today Hetaraka travelled to Auckland to join the presentation.
Hetaraka said, “I came here today to support the kaupapa of peace and with a message to Phil Twyford and the Government from the elders of my hapū:
Utua te kino i te pai.
Te he ki te tika.
Te mamae ki te aroha.
Replace the bad with the good
The wrong with the right
The pain and suffering, with love.”
Local hapū in Whangaruru, north of Whāngarei, earlier put their support behind the call for government sanctions on Russian oligarchs, despite having a good working relationship with Abramov over the years. At the time of the Peace Flotilla converging on Helena Bay, Mōkau Marae chair Hepi Haika said if sanctioning Abramov will help bring the war to an end, then the hapū support that stand.
Also in attendance today were skippers Avon Hansford and Thomas Everth, who organised the peace flotilla and sailed their yachts to Helena Bay in March.