Written by on March 4, 2022

The shock of the Ukraine invasion by Russia was felt across the world and as the battle for Ukraine unfolds the outcry and resistance mounts. Many countries have imposed sanctions against Russia and whilst New Zealand has made opposition to the invasion clear they have so far not been able to impose sanctions.

A group of intrepid sailors have decided to take steps to show New Zealand opposition and are hoping this will be picked up by major overseas news media organisations as a means of showing support for Ukraine and opposition to the Putin regime.

The Luxury Lodge in beautiful Helena Bay, Northland is the target for the protest. It is owned by Russian Oligarch Alexander Abramov. Abramov is one of the wealthiest Russian people and is very influential with Putin. He owns Steel company Evraz and has an estimated net worth of $6.3 billion USD.

Whilst countries around the world have been imposing sanctions on Oligarchs which have included freezing assets and travels bans, New Zealand is yet to take any direct action.

New Zealand Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta was asked by the Northern Advocate if there was an intention to impose sanctions on Russian oligarchs and if not, why not? In response a Foreign Affairs and Trade spokesperson said “We are unable to provide details on individuals that may come under the sanctions of other countries.

”Aotearoa New Zealand does not have an autonomous sanctions regime, which means we do not have the same ability to freeze assets or restrict the provision of financial services to individuals who are subject to the sanctions of our partners.

”The Government is looking at a range of further measures we can apply, including whether restrictions can be applied to flows of investment into New Zealand by Russian individuals and firms implicated in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.”

A group of sailors have decided that it’s time to make their opposition heard. Avon Hansford from Whitianga is coordinating the flotilla that will leave on Saturday with Helena Bay the destination.

According to Thomas Everth, one of those sailing with the group, the aim is to demonstrate solidarity with Ukraine and to highlight the network of money connections of the Russian oligarchy and their godfather Putin around the world.

The flotilla will likely aim for arrival at Helena Bay towards the end of next week. Some of the yachts and skippers going will have been involved in the Muroroa atomic test peace fleet protests in 1995.

The Coromandel was well represented in the last major peace flotilla with the late John Simpson from Simpsons Beach (Wharekaho) being a prominent part of that protest.

Reader's opinions
  1. Linda C Smith   On   March 4, 2022 at 4:05 pm

    Excuse me!!! this Government can make any changes they want to, whenever they want to. Why not now instead of ‘spinning’? It is so sad to see politicians that change direction in policy any time it doesn’t suit their narrative. Next question? Are this Russian oligarchs building interests Government contract guaranteed? I have asked our MP Scott Simpson whether assets have been seized as they have in the rest of the World. No response. Perhaps cfm could ask or straight to the PM. Great article. Thank you and good luck to the flotilla.

  2. Richard   On   March 7, 2022 at 10:06 am

    The so called resort has a secret war bunker , or bunker .
    Millions of dollars of NZ materials have been used . The operation absorbed Whangarei trades for a decade . We have helped the Putin Pig , oh !
    They have bodyguards and most certainly guns .
    The land is ,was or still is MAORI LEASE . Local people I am sure .
    Picket the fence !!!!!
    All 600 acres of it . The three bays and all …..
    STOP the War .

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