Human rights violation: NZ companies under fire for fertiliser imports

A protest in the depths of Africa has drawn attention to two New Zealand fetiliser companies.

Balance and Ravensdown are being urged to stop importing a main fertiliser ingredient from Western Sahara. Source: 1 NEWS

Ballance and Ravensdown are being urged to stop importing the main fetiliser ingredient phosphate from Western Sahara because of alleged human rights violations.

Forty years ago Morocco invaded Western Sahara and started mining phosphate rock and selling it around the world for millions of dollars.

The United Nations condemned the invasion but the Moroccan government refused to withdraw and continued to mine the fertiliser ingrediant.

Western Sahara Resource Watch spokesman Erik Hagen said: "Morocco is illegally occupying Western Sahara ... so the New Zealand imports is basically, it's helping support the occupation of Western Sahara."

Nine companies worldwide buy Western Saharan phospahte from Morocco, including New Zealand companies Ballance and Ravensdown for farming.

"They have to stop it as soon as possible in order to support the UN peace process," Mr Hagen said.

Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy said he was unaware of the source for the fertilisers which are imported into New Zealand.

Both Ballance and Ravensdown declined to be interviewed by ONE News and referenced an industry body which issued a statement.

The statement read "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".