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New Plymouth oil well study underway

Monday, 19 November 2001 Media Statement

New Plymouth oil well study underway

Associate Energy Minister Paul Swain says a study on how to fix a 1920s bore leaking water and gas under a New Plymouth home is underway.

“The Ministry of Economic Development and the New Plymouth District Council have commissioned the report,” Paul Swain said.

“The study should come up with options on how to fix the bore and how much each option will cost. It won’t establish who should pay for that work – that issue will have be resolved separately.

"When the report is finished – which should be in the next few weeks - it will be reviewed by a wide range of agencies including the occupiers, their insurers, the local council, the landowner and the Crown.

"The Crown has already on a without prejudice basis, paid the removal and rental accommodation costs for the home occupiers and is also part-funding the study.

“The hard issue of liability is still yet to be resolved. However it is going to have to be resolved - and quickly.

“The first step is to find out what the actual problem is, how it can be fixed and how much it is going to cost. That’s the purpose of this study.

“It has been encouraging that local MP Harry Duynhoven, MED Officials, the landowners, occupiers, insurers local authorities, and industry experts are working together to find a solution.

“As soon as the report is available there will need to be an urgent meeting of interested parties so we can move on to the next stage,” Paul Swain said.

ENDS

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