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


Forest & Bird backs PCE’s caution on fracking

November 27 2012

Forest & Bird backs PCE’s caution on fracking

Forest & Bird is urging the authorities to adopt a precautionary approach to fracking because much more needs to be known about its environmental impacts and how New Zealand should regulate the practice before approval for more fracking operations can be considered.

The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment (PCE)’s interim report on fracking has been released today.

Forest & Bird’s concerns around fracking relate particularly to water use, water quality and the disposal of toxic frack waste.

In her report, PCE Jan Wright identifies four parts of the process that, if managed poorly, could lead to contaminants leaking into groundwater. She notes that: “The potential for important aquifers to be contaminated as a result of fracking is very real” - by chemicals or salty water.

She also describes a lax regulatory environment and a lack of clarity around operational practice, and she will issue a further and final report on these issues in 2013.

“Our final views will be guided and heavily informed by the PCE’s further work,” says Forest & Bird Conservation Advocate Claire Browning. “We have real reservations about fracking, and do not support it at this time although we’re open to taking the best independent advice on the issue.

“The other major problem with fracking is that it’s all about sustaining the big oil and gas companies - which is good for that industry - but if it’s allowed to take hold here, it will have very mixed clean energy benefits.”

In embracing fracking, New Zealand would also be at odds with a number of other countries or states which have banned it, or issued moratoriums, Claire Browning says.

The PCE’s report concludes that a moratorium on fracking in NZ is not justified at this time.

“Instead, Dr Wright appears to be leaning towards managing the regulatory framework,” Claire Browning says. “But any new regulation still needs to be governed by a precautionary approach.”

If the PCE’s second report was to recommend that fracking can be managed, the question would still remain about whether this is, overall, the best energy direction for New Zealand, Claire Browning concludes.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines



Housing Issues: Homelessness On The Horizon For Baby Boomers

Baby Boomers who have held down jobs and contributed to the well-being of New Zealand through their taxes may yet become homeless in late middle age or early retirement without urgent Government action, says The Salvation Army. More>>


Treasury Has Doubts On Christchurch Rebuild And... Auditor-General Follows Up On EQC

Despite the improvements made, EQC could still learn better from complaints and improve its customer focus and interactions... Although the programme is nearing completion, EQC needs to provide the best service possible for the home owners whose homes are still to be repaired. More>>


Man Who Banned 'Into The River' Out The Door: Appointments To The Film And Literature Board Of Review

Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne has announced seven appointments to the Film and Literature Board of Review... “The new members of the Board... will provide a strong mix of skills and experience to help the Board carry out its functions, while representing a cross-section of society.” More>>


Climate Marches: New Zealanders March For Solutions Not Pollution

Ahead of the UN Climate Summit in Paris more than 15,000 New Zealanders have taken part in the Peoples Climate march in Auckland, kicking off the largest climate mobilisation the world has ever seen... More>>


Labour: Little Announces New Shadow Cabinet

“Labour had an impressive intake of fresh faces after last year’s election and newest MPs have now had a year to show what they’re made of. This reshuffle rewards hard work and continues my drive to renew our Caucus line up." More>>


Because Reasons: Someone Reckons David Seymour Is Politician Of The Year

Trans Tasman's 11th annual Roll Call has thrown a curve ball this year, ignoring the likes of John Key, Bill English, and Winston Peters to pick its politician of the year from the ranks of the new generation. More>>


Whaling: NZ Deeply Disappointed By Japan's Decision

“New Zealand is strongly opposed to whaling in the Southern Ocean. We call on Japan to take heed of the 2014 International Court of Justice decision and international scientific advice concerning their whaling activities.” More>>


Relevant Consents Gained: Government Unveils RMA Reform Package

The government has formally hauled down the flag on its attempts to alter the balance of environmental and economic priorities in the Resource Management Act, unveiling a 180-page Resource Legislation Amendment Bill containing reforms that have been largely endorsed by most political parties. More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news