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No safety requirements, no consultation, no jobs … No way!

No safety requirements, no consultation, no jobs … No way!

Hone Harawira, MANA Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau

Tuesday 17 June 2014

“A foreign multi-national has been given the green light to explore and drill for oil and gas off the West Coast of Northland, without adequate safety regulations, without any requirement for consultation and without any jobs for the local population”, says Hone Harawira, MANA leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau.

Norwegian company Statoil was granted a 15-year exploration permit last year, covering 10,000 square kilometres of seabed in the Te Reinga Basin, and has already begun work using a New Zealand research vessel that was given a taxpayer funded $24 million upgrade.

“So not only have we given them the licence, we’ve also paid for their research programme!” said Harawira.

“And as far as government’s promises about jobs in the North, it seems that that statement was … at odds with the truth” said Harawira. “The boss of Stat Oil itself told us that they would be using new Plymouth as their port of supply, and the last time I looked that wasn’t in my electorate.”

Harawira said that he had invited Stat Oil to attend a public meeting last week called on behalf of Northerners concerned about the threat of oil drilling off Northland’s pristine West Coast beaches and harbours.

“Our own government has made no requirement on either Stat Oil, or themselves for that matter, to consult with the people of the north, and given no obligation that they would listen either, so we have to do it ourselves.”

“And given that any deep sea oil drilling programme brings with it the risk of catastrophic oil spills and major concerns for the protection of the marine and coastal environment, you’d think that consultation would be an absolute must, but not at all” said Harawira.

“That’s why people were horrified to hear thatNew Zealand’s Oil Spill Recovery Unit consists of just three 30- foot inflatables, none of which are even allowed to go out where Stat Oil will be drilling!”

“Those who attended the meeting were unanimous in their opposition to deep sea oil drilling” said Harawira “and so too is MANA”.

Mr Harawira said non-renewable energies were the wrong direction for Aotearoa, and supported the call for a transition to a clean renewable energy-based economy, and investment in solar, wind and micro-hydro operations that would be good for whanau, communities, job creation – and the environment.


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