The New Zealand government has decided not to file as a party to Australia’s legal action in the International Court of Justice against Japanese whaling in the Southern Ocean, Foreign Minister Murray McCully announced on Wednesday.
Instead, New Zealand will formally intervene in the case, meaning it will be able to make both written and oral submissions opposing Japan’s practice of what it calls scientific whaling, he said in a statement.
Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd said it confirms New Zealand as a strong partner in the bid to end scientific whaling.
McCully said in the statement that not taking a case to the International Court of Justice will allow New Zealand to continue to pursue the end of whaling in the Southern Ocean through diplomatic channels.
McCully said he had spoken to Japanese Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara to explore the room for further diplomatic initiatives.