When calendars get awkward

Greenpeace has been left in the awkward position of inadvertently distributing the photography of Alain Marfat-Renodier, a man who was involved in the 1985 bombing of the Rainbow Warrior in New Zealand.

This situation comes about after it was revealed that one of Marfat’s photographs taken of a variety of animals around a Namibian watering hole was included in the not-for-profit organisation’s annual calendar (image credit: Stuff).

In response to the debacle being picked up by mainstream media, Greenpeace sent the following letter to its mailing list:  

You may have seen in the news already there’s been an upsetting mistake made with a Greenpeace calendar.

Here’s what happened.

Greenpeace US use an exterior publisher who sourced one of the images for their calendar from nature photographer, Alain Mafart-Renodier. After printing the finished calendar, a staff member realised that Alain Mafart-Renodier is Alain Mafart, one of the French military operatives who was involved in the bombing of the Rainbow Warrior, in New Zealand in 1985. 

He was part of the team who killed my friend and crewmate , Fernando Pereira who was the photographer on board the Rainbow Warrior. 

We were gutted to hear that this had happened. It’s upsetting that a picture from Mafart could ever appear anywhere in a Greenpeace publication andas soon as we discovered the problem, we requested that the publisher recall the calendars. 

Unfortunately, they wouldn’t do that unless we reimbursed them with more than $250,000 USD. And even then they couldn’t assure us of being able to get all the calendars back. We don’t reckon this is a good use of our donors’ money so, despite our long history with the company in the US we’ll no longer work with them. 

It’s frustrating that we can’t completely recall the calendar, but we have managed to stop any of these going to any Greenpeace offices. 

In New Zealand we make our own calendar in-house so you’ll have nothing to worry about when you order your 2015 Greenpeace calendar for Chrissy presents. 

Bunny and the whole crew at Greenpeace 

PS. On a more positive note, the Climate Voter debate on Weds night was AMAZING. Really amazing. We had a sellout crowd, and online audience of over 13,000 and the #ClimateVoter hashtag was trending on twitter throughout. You can watch the video online now here. So that, along with nearly 58,000 people signing on as Climate Voters, means we’ve well and truly put climate change on the agenda for this election. Thanks to everyone who has helped us do that! 

While this isn’t the best press for the organisation, it does at least draw attention to the only act of international terrorism to have been perpetrated in New Zealand.

On the lighter side, this could also be a case of BP or Shell punking Greenpeace in response to the range of elaborate pranks that the not-for-profit organisation has orchestrated to draw attention to harm caused by the petroleum companies. 


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