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

Gordon Campbell: On The Wage Hike For MPs (and Paul Robeson)

Hard to tell what is more infuriating. Is it the 5.3% increase on the already bloated salaries of MPs, or their pantomime of outrage at being gifted with such a wonderful back-dated bonanza?

As usual, Prime Minister John Key has busily tried to distance himself from the political fallout, even though he happens to be the main beneficiary of the Remuneration Authority’s generosity. Finance Minister Bill English says with a straight face that it would actually be very hard to give the money back...

Even if it were true, it would actually be very easy for English and any other guilty colleagues, to give the extra money away. There are any number of food banks or homeless shelters who would be able to put the money to good use. More>>

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

No Designers Or Visual Artists: Flag Panel Members Announced

The Government has appointed 12 New Zealanders as members of the Flag Consideration Panel which will engage with the public about a possible new New Zealand flag, Deputy Prime Minister Bill English says. More>>

ALSO:

Labour MP Stands Down From Portfolio: Comment From Carmel Sepuloni

The first I knew of my mother’s charges was when I was called by a reporter yesterday. I spoke to Andrew and we agreed there is a conflict of interest at the present time which means I will temporarily stand aside from the Social Development portfolio. It’s the right thing to do… . More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Whether NZ Troops Are The Least Of Islamic State’s Problems

Given that it has been politically packaged and sold as a training mission, the Iraq deployment announced yesterday by Prime Minister John Key seemed to be mysteriously short of actual trainers... The other wing of the argument is whether a troop deployment is (a) the only effective way and (b) the appropriate time to combat Islamic State. More>>

ALSO:

143 Troops, Possible SAS Deployment, Legalities Unsorted: PM’s Statement On ISIL

Mr Speaker, today I am announcing to the House the Government’s decisions about our contribution to the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL... More>>

ALSO:

Liu Saga: PM's Dinner With Controversial Donor

John Key must front up to New Zealand and say what he discussed with Donghua Liu when the disgraced businessman paid $25,000 for the Prime Minister to come to dinner at his Remuera home, the Green Party said today. More>>

ALSO:

Roads: National MP 'Concerned' At Overseas Driver Crashes

Waitaki MP and Parliamentary Private Secretary for Tourism Jacqui Dean said she was concerned at the number of fatal crashes involving overseas licence holders and she really felt that the time had come for more to be done. More>>

ALSO:

Parliament Today: Parole Bill Passes

A bill reducing parole hearings deemed to be unnecessary has passed. The third reading of the Parole Amendment Bill was completed by 104 to 16 with the Greens and Maori Party opposed. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news