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New oil drilling regulations muzzle New Zealanders

27 February 2014

New oil drilling regulations muzzle New Zealanders

Risky exploratory deep sea drilling should be a prohibited activity in our Exclusive Economic Zone, but if the Government is going to recklessly allow it to happen, the public should have a say on each and every proposal, the Green Party said today.

The Government today announced new regulations which mean that New Zealanders are shut out of having a say on exploratory deep sea oil drilling.

“The Government legislated to stop people voicing their opposition at sea, and now they are locking them out on land,” said Green Party energy spokesperson Gareth Hughes.

Mr Hughes was referring to the Government’s recent changes to the Crown Minerals Act which limit protesting at sea.

“The Government shouldn’t allow companies to risk our environment and economy with exploratory deep sea drilling in New Zealand's waters but National are intent on eliminating New Zealanders even having a say,” said Mr Hughes.

“Exploratory drilling is the riskiest phase of drilling, and can lead to horrendous accidents,” said Mr Hughes.

“New Zealanders should get a say on proposals for risky deep sea drilling because the consequences of a spill will affect everyone.

“Under these regulations New Zealanders will not have been able to have a say on exploratory wells like the Deepwater Horizon well that caused a massive spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

“I am deeply concerned this will mean that the public will not get any say at all on extremely controversial proposals,” said Mr Hughes.

“We can create a smart, green economy by moving towards renewable energy and clean-tech jobs and away from risky extractive activities like deep sea oil drilling.”


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