CORANZ Wants Oil Exploration Banned on Public Lands
Council of Outdoor Recreation Assns of NZ (CORANZ)
Outdoor Recreation Body Wants Oil Exploration Banned on Public Lands
A nation wide outdoor recreation advocacy the Council of Outdoor Recreation Associations of New Zealand (CORANZ) wants oil exploration banned on public wilderness lands such as forest parks. Yesterday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced a ban on future offshore oil and gas exploration in New Zealand and added the only exploration likely to be contemplated by the new Government was on-shore exploration, limited to energy-rich Taranaki.
However CORANZ’s co-chairman Andi Cockroft said the announcement failed to respect the public’s forest parks.
“This is indicative of the lack of thought and foresight by governments making these decisions in the case of the Victoria Forest Park involving public property,” said Andi Cockroft. “CORANZ is concerned that the new government seems to see ‘on-shore’ as okay. That may be okay but not on public lands.”
He said the previous government was also guilty of a lack of foresight. The previous National-led government in 2014 allowed overseas corporates the rights to drill off-shore and on-shore among the latter being public lands. Included was the public's biggest forest park, the 200,000 hectare Victoria Forest Park. At the time the then energy minister Simon Bridges admitted although he had signed the deal off, he had never heard of the park.
Andi Cockroft said there were competing predictions for a cooling as well as a warming climate and if this occurred, then it was important New Zealand was self-sufficient in fuel.
In advocating public lands be excluded from oil and gas exploration, he added that private land exploration would be up to property owners, oil and gas corporates and government environmental safeguards..
“But public lands should not be part of the exploitive exploration,” he said.