The New Zealand Fertiliser Association, representing the controversial importing companies in New Zealand is quoted by national TV that they are "aware of what's happening in Western Sahara but that's no reason not to use phosphate rock from the area".
The two fertiliser companies Ballance Agri-Nutrients Ltd and Ravensdown supply all fertiliser on the New Zealand market. Almost all these fertilisers are based on phosphate from a Moroccan state owned company operating in occupied Western Sahara. The issue was covered on the New Zealand government broadcaster One News 29 March 2015.
The Western Sahara Resource Watch report P for Plunder - 2014, launched in New Zealand 16 March 2015, documents that the Pacific nation is the third biggest importer of the controversial rock from the occupied territory. The New Zealand Primary Industries Minister stated to One News he was not fully aware of the origins of the fertilisers.
"Taking minerals that have been taken effectively by an occupied power, I think is quite unethical", stated leader of the Greens in New Zealand, Russel Norman.
The Fertiliser Association of New Zealand issued on 23 March 2015 a media statement underlining that its member companies will continue the imports of phosphates from Western Sahara. The association has two member companies - Ballance and Ravensdown.
The association stated to One News that "the Fertiliser Association is aware of what's happening in Western Sahara but that's no reason not to use phosphate rock from the area".
The territory of Western Sahara is treated by the United Nations as an unresolved colonial issue, and is partially under occupation of neighbouring Morocco. The exports of phosphates constitutes the main Moroccan income from the territory.
For over 40 years, a Moroccan state-owned company has exported phosphate rock from occupied Western Sahara.
The invasion of Ukraine causes a massive increase in Morocco's profits from its illegal plunder of phosphate rock from occupied Western Sahara. New WSRW report shows that the export volume remained stable throughout 2022.
From the end of this year, 2 of 3 global importers of Western Sahara's controversial conflict minerals are from New Zealand. This week, locals protested in the city of Dunedin.
The two New Zealand companies Ravensdown and Ballance Agri-Nutrients, now the only two clients of phosphate rock from occupied Western Sahara in the world, are defending their purchases on social media. Here is what is wrong with what they claim.