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Protection must be more than hot air

Energy spokesperson
9 February 2012 MEDIA STATEMENT
Protection must be more than hot air

The Government must guarantee that there are adequate environmental protections in place before charging ahead with deep sea oil and gas exploration, Labour's Energy spokesperson Moana Mackey says.

The Ministry of Economic Development today released details of the 25 blocks that are being proposed for exploration activity in 2012.

"A Parliamentary Select Committee heard submissions on the Government's proposed legislation to regulate this activity in New Zealand’s Exclusive Economic Zone and extended continental shelf today.
“Submitters raised grave concerns about the Government’s decision to trade off environmental protection against economic development - in contravention of New Zealand’s international obligations which require us to make protection of the environment a bottom line,” Moana Mackey said.

"While regulation in this area is long overdue, the Government’s watered down legislation will not provide the basic protections the public want for our unique and precious marine environment.

"Labour wants to see some best practice processes - especially around liability and emergency response readiness – introduced before any further exploration goes ahead.
“We also want to see regulation put in place that allows for genuine consultation and ensures environmental protection is paramount, in line with our obligations.

"While Phil Heatley and his colleagues have done a lot of talking about dramatically increasing the amount of oil and gas exploration in New Zealand, it is worrying that they have been completely silent when it comes to growing public concerns regarding the impact it has on the environment,” Moana Mackey said.


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