Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


No "Thumbs Up" For Fracking

Date 27/11/12

No "Thumbs Up" For Fracking

Lobby group Don’t Frack the Bay welcomes the interim report on fracking issued today by the Parliamentary Commissioner for Environment, Dr Jan Wright.

Spokesperson, Pauline Elliott, says Dr Wright’s findings echo many of the concerns raised by this group more than 18 months ago. “Given the seriousness of issues raised in her report, it is surprising that a call for a moratorium has not been made, at least until the significant regulatory concerns can be addressed”.

The interim report highlights the lack of any oversight by central government; the lack of a sound, cohesive regulatory framework; the “labyrinthine” roles of central and local government agencies, and their fragmented approach; and the ‘light handed’ approach to a high risk industry. These issues will be the subject of further investigation and recommendations.

Dr Wright states she “cannot be confident that operational best practices are actually being implemented and enforced through regulation”. While acknowledging the current government is hoping for an economic future built on oil and gas, she questions “whether the same effort is being put into preparing for the impacts it may have”.

“The social, cultural and health effects must also be fully considered before fracking is more widely used” says Ms Elliott. “These are impacts that have not yet been considered, and were not the focus of this report.”

Dr Wright has identified “choosing where to drill” as a key element in protecting the environment.

Stating that almost all fracking to date has been in Taranaki, she cautions that generalising from the Taranaki experience is of little or limited value. The report emphasises that the geology and hydrogeology of the East Coast is vastly different to that of Taranaki.

“Don’t Frack the Bay has long voiced concern that the complex, intricate geology of Hawke’s Bay is a major concern. The region is not suited to hydraulic fracturing” says Ms Elliott. “In addition, unlike Taranaki, this region suffers periods of drought. There is a crucial question as to where the significant volumes of water required for fracking will come from. There can be no comparison with Taranaki as a model for development” says Ms Elliott.

Ms Elliott says the Commissioner is to be commended on exploring the multiplicity of issues that have been the subject of such wide debate. “It is, however, disappointing to see so many significant questions raised with no call for a pause in proceedings, at least until the major concerns around regulation, monitoring, and enforcement, have been addressed”, she says.

Dr Wright’s call for the industry and government to ‘earn a social licence’ through greater transparency and public engagement is commendable. “What is needed,” Dr Wright stresses, “is trust that government oversight is occurring, and that regulation is enforced, and seen to be so.”

“We are experts at shutting the gate after the horse has bolted”, says Ms Elliott. “Given Pike River; leaky homes; failed finance markets; and escalating workplace injuries and fatalities, there is little public confidence that government or its agencies can provide the level of monitoring and enforcement required to protect against failures in the gas and oil mining industry.”


ENDS.


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Parliament Kicks Off: Carter Re-Elected Speaker

The 51st Parliament held its commission opening today with MPs sworn in and David Carter elected Speaker.

The day began at 11am with the three Royal Commissioners – the Chief Justice, the Court of Appeal President, and the Chief High Court Judge – declaring the new Parliament open.

After the Commissioners left the Chamber the swearing in of MPs took place in alphabetical order. Unlike some previous openings all MPs managed to swear on the bible or affirm their oath without any hiccups... More>>

 

Labour: Review Team Named, Leadership Campaign Starts

Labour’s New Zealand Council has appointed Bryan Gould as Convenor of its post-General Election Review. He will be joined on the Review Team by Hon Margaret Wilson, Stacey Morrison and Brian Corban.

ALSO:


Roy Morgan Poll: National Slips, Labour Hits Lows

The first New Zealand Roy Morgan Poll since the NZ Election shows National 43.5% (down 3.54% since the September 20 Election). This isn’t unusual, National support has dropped after each of John Key’s Election victories... However, support for the main opposition Labour Party has crashed to 22.5% (down 2.63% and the lowest support for Labour since the 1914 NZ Election as United Labour). More>>

ALSO:

In On First Round: New Zealand Wins Security Council Seat

Prime Minister John Key has welcomed New Zealand securing a place on the United Nations Security Council for the 2015-16 term. More>>

ALSO:

TPP Leak: Intellectual Property Text Confirms Risk - Jane Kelsey

The US is continuing its assault on generic medicines through numerous proposed changes to patent laws. ‘These are bound to impact on Pharmac if they are accepted’, according to Professor Kelsey... Copyright is another area of ongoing sensitivity... More>>

ALSO:

RMA: Smith Plans Reform To Ease Urban Development

Newly appointed Environment Minister Nick Smith has announced Resource Management Act reform to foster urban development, where high land prices and expensive resource consents are blocking efforts to provide affordable housing. More>>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On New Zealand getting involved (again) in other people's wars

Apparently, the Key government is still pondering how New Zealand will contribute to the fight against Islamic State. Long may it ponder, given the lack of consensus among our allies as to how to fight IS, where to fight it (Syria, Iraq, or both?) and with whose ground troops, pray tell? More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On child poverty, and David Shearer’s latest outburst

The politicisation of (a) the public service and (b) the operations of the Official Information Act have been highlighted by the policy advice package on child poverty that RNZ’s resolute political editor Brent Edwards has finally prised out of the Ministry of Social Development. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On the government’s review of security laws

So the Key government is about to launch a four week review of the ability of our existing legislation to deal with “suspected and returning foreign terrorist fighters, and other violent extremists.”

According to its terms of reference, the review will consider whether the SIS, GCSB and Police are sufficiently able right now to (a) investigate and monitor suspected and returning foreign terrorist fighters… More>>

ALSO:

Labour Davids: Lisa Owen Interviews David Shearer

David Shearer still mulling whether to stand for Labour leadership but says his family doesn’t think it’s a good idea. Declares that it will be “incredibly divisive” for the Labour caucus if David Cunliffe returns to the role of leader. More>>

ALSO:

Taser Use & False Evidence: Timaru Officers "Failed To Follow Good Policing Practice"

The Authority found that even if Mr Reuben’s contact with the officer was deliberate it amounted to only a minor assault. While it found the use of the OC spray was justified, the use of the Taser was not a proportionate response... More>>

ALSO:

Little Surprise: Andrew Little To Contest Labour Leadership

I have decided to contest the Labour Party leadership. There are three immediate issues to deal with: creating greater cohesion across the caucus, rebuilding the relationship between caucus and the Party and, most importantly getting the process under way to listen to the voters who have abandoned us... More>>

ALSO:

Two Fewer Votes In Recount: "Positive Result" - Harawira

When I applied for a recount of the votes from the Tai Tokerau election, I made it clear that this application was not aimed at overturning the election result, but ensuring that all votes cast by Maori were treated with due respect, regardless of whether those votes are for Labour, Maori Party or MANA. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news