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 TODAY:

Labour: Cash For Charter Schools, Mould For State Schools

“Recently released financial statements show the Whangarei charter school He Puna Marama received $3.9 million in government funding to the end of last year. Yet their audited accounts show they only spent $1.4 million on education, leaving almost $2.5 million over two years unaccounted for." More>>

ALSO:

Kiwirail Plans Shift From Electric: National Urged Not To Take Backwards Step

The National Government shouldn’t drag New Zealand backwards by replacing its climate friendly electric trains with carbon-polluting diesel trains, the Green Party said today. More>>

ALSO:

Capital Connection:

Harmful Digital Communication Bill Passes: Focus Must Be On Education

InternetNZ acknowledges the passage of the Harmful Digital Communications Bill into law this afternoon, and says that the sooner the education efforts at the heart of the legislation start, the better... More>>

ALSO:

3-Year Transport Plan: No Plans On Six Northland-Election Bridges

The Transport Authority’s decision to fund only four of the 10 bridges promised in National’s shameless Northland by-election bribe is a huge embarrassment for Transport Minister Simon Bridges, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. More>>

ALSO:

Gaza Blockade: Māori TV Crew Returning Safely From Israel

A Māori Television crew will be flown back from Israel after their boat was detained by the Israeli Navy while attempting to break the Gaza blockade. More>>

ALSO:

Family Violence: Increasing Reporting But Fewer Resolutions

“We are aware the Police have embarked on a significant programme of change in how they respond to family violence. The data suggests that adequate resourcing including investing in staff training, support and culture change will be required for this to be effective.” More>>

ALSO:

Health: NZ Children Still Suffer Rickets From Lack Of Vitamin D

Vitamin D deficiency continues to cause rickets in young New Zealanders, new University of Otago research has found. The researchers say that their finding suggests that at-risk mothers and children should be better targeted for Vitamin D supplementation. More>>

Also GPs, Housing, Milk: PM Press Conference On The UN Security Council

In a press conference today the Prime Minister discussed the upcoming appointment of New Zealand to chair the UN Security Council. He said they would put pressure Asad in Syria and attempt to “jump start” negotiations between Israel and Palestine. More>>

ALSO:

Housing: State Houses Could Sell To Overseas Groups

Bill English’s admission that he would sell hundreds of New Zealand’s state houses to the Australians is the latest lurch in the Government’s stumbling, half-baked housing policy, Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. More>>

ALSO:

AND:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news