Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


Taranaki’s first Oil/Gas marine consent – a death knell

Media release: Taranaki’s first Oil/Gas marine consent – a death knell for marine mammals

From: Climate Justice Taranaki
Date: 13 July 2014

Austrian oil giant OMV’s application to drill up to seven new wells from its Maari platform is the first oil/gas marine consent being processed by the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) under the EEZ and Continental Shelf Act.

“If approved, the operation will pave the way for more intensified oil and gas drilling offshore, jeopardising the already perilous existence of many of New Zealand’s marine mammals and seabirds”, said Catherine Cheung, Climate Justice Taranaki.

Less than 80 km from Opunake, it would take just 5-7 days for oil to reach shore between Opunake and Hawera should an oil spill occur, according to OMV’s own modelling. Within 1-2 weeks, oil would reach Whanganui, Kapiti and Farewell Spit – a prime seabird breeding colony and known whale stranding hotspot. In a fortnight, oil would have travelled north to Oakura and the West Coast Marine Mammal Sanctuary designated for the protection of the critically endangered Maui’s Dolphin.

“People may think ‘she’ll be right – nothing to worry about’, but OMV already has had two oil spills from its floating production vessel at Maari in October 2010, when oil blobs were spotted along the Kapiti Coast. And even if there is no oil spill, further oil and gas development off Taranaki will pose serious threats to marine life,” said Cheung.

Critically for the Maui’s Dolphin which ranges from Maunganui Bluff to Whanganui in waters up to 100 metres deep, “its survival is already affected by noise from seismic surveys which travels at least 80 km, right to the coastline,” explained Prof Liz Slooten, Otago University.

Furthermore, since OMV’s last oil spill, a major feeding ground for the endangered Blue Whale has been discovered in the South Taranaki Bight. NIWA scientist Dr. Leigh Torres revealed that most Blue Whale sightings in the Bight occurred within areas open for mineral exploration and shipping traffic.

Torres pointed out, “despite apparent low-level impacts from individual sources, we must be cognisant of cumulative effects and manage these threats with a coordinated approach.”

OMV’s development drilling is expected to last 420 days, with noise from drilling, ship and helicopter traffic, discharge of drilling waste at sea (and on land), and possibly explosives.

It is just one of many current and planned petroleum and mineral programs, including OMV’s exploratory drilling in the adjacent Manaia oil field, AWE’s exploration near the Tui oil field, Shell Todd’s seismic survey and development drilling in the Maui gas field and seabed mining by Trans-Tasman Resources.

“The impacts on marine life will be like ‘death by a thousand cuts’ if we allow these activities to continue and proliferate. We urge all to write to EPA and object to OMV’s application. Public submission will close on the 29th July”, concluded Cheung.

Sources:

OMV New Zealand Ltd: Application for marine consent (EPA website).
http://www.epa.govt.nz/EEZ/omv/Pages/default.aspx
Second oil spill on tanker in month (Radio NZ, 23 Nov 2010).
http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/62391/second-oil-spill-on-tanker-in-month
Evidence for an unrecognised blue whale foraging ground in New Zealand, LG
Torres in NZ Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research, May 2013.
http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/00288330.2013.773919
Oil exploration in Maui Dolphin Protection Zone, Liz Slooten, 3 July 2014.
http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1407/S00066/oil-exploration-in-maui-dolphin-protection-zone.htm

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gaza.Scoop: UNRWA School, Ambulances Attacked - Gaza MOH

The Ministry of Health Gaza expresses its horror and outrage at the latest Israeli massacre moments ago at an UNRWA school sheltering displaced persons in Beit Hanoun. Ten people have been killed and there is a large number of wounded. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell:
On Gaza And Burning The Israeli Flag

One of the selling points in New Zealand’s campaign for a temporary seat on the Security Council is that we have a pluckily independent voice to offer on international conflicts.

This image is not entirely self-delusional. When we did occupy a temporary UN Security Council seat in the 1990s, New Zealand was forthright about the need for the international community to actively respond to the Rwanda genocide. On April 14, 1994, New Zealand, Nigeria and the Czech Republic were the only nations to call for a forceful UN intervention to halt the killings. It was a proud moment in the diplomatic record of the Bolger government.

What then, is the current National government doing with respect to the slaughter in Gaza? More>>

 

Parliament Today:

Minister Told Of FBI Investigation, Says INZ: Coleman Must Quit Or Be Sacked Over Dotcom Case - Harré

Immigration New Zealand has done the right thing in distancing itself from Jonathan Coleman’s claims that ministers were not aware of FBI involvement in Kim Dotcom’s residency application, says the Internet Party. More>>

ALSO:

Valedictory Season: Maori Party Founders Say Goodbye

Two major Maori MPs gave there farewell speeches to Parliament Thursday outlining their history, experiences, triumphs and regrets. More>>

ALSO:

Resignation Not Accepted: Transport Minister Breaches Aviation Security Rules

"Running late for a plane at Christchurch Airport, I without thought breached airport and airline security rules by entering the gate lounge through a door usually used for exit only..." More>>

ALSO:

TAIC Report: Urgent Recommendations After Melling Rail Accident

The Transport Accident Investigation Commission has made four urgent recommendations to KiwiRail following the accident two months ago (27 May) when a Matangi passenger train collided with a stop block at Melling Station, Lower Hutt. More>>

ALSO:

Red Tape: Local Regulations Go Under Microscope

The Government says it is accepting nearly all of the recommendations the Productivity Commission has made on ways to improve local regulations. More>>

ALSO:

Spending Questions: Claudette Hauiti To Step Aside At Election

National Party President Peter Goodfellow confirms that he has received notification from List MP Claudette Hauiti that she plans to step aside at the 20 September election. More>>

ALSO:

EPA: Board Of Inquiry Rejects Basin Flyover By Majority Of 3 To 1

The independent Board of Inquiry delegated to decide on the Basin Bridge Proposal has, by a majority decision (3 to 1), cancelled the Transport Agency’s Notice of Requirement and declined its resource consent applications for the construction, operation and maintenance of a flyover on State Highway 1 in Wellington City... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news