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Hui commits to stop expansion of fossil fuels extraction

Auckland, July 31st 2011: Iwi, community and environmental organisations united at a hui in Auckland this weekend, with the goal of stopping the Government’s efforts to dramatically ramp up the exploitation of fossil fuels in Aotearoa New Zealand. This includes oil drilling, underground hydraulic fracturing (fracking), and the mining of coal.

The hui at Nga Whare Waatea Marae in Mangere was a huge success, according to various spokespeople, was attended by iwi members, groups, organisations and concerned individuals from around the country including: Te Whānau-ā-Apanui, Ngati Porou, Nga Puhi, Poutama, Parihaka, Greenpeace New Zealand, Forest and Bird, ECO, Hauraki Watchdog, Climate Camp Aotearoa, Coal Action Network, Climate Justice Taranaki and the West Coast Environment Network.

Strong alliances were formed which will set those who attended on a new path to combat climate change, and avoid the harm caused by oil drilling and new coal and gas extraction.

Speakers included Rikirangi Gage of te Whānau-ā-Apanui, and former Green Party Co-Leader Jeanette Fitzsimons.

The hui concluded with the following statement:

We are united and determined to stop the destructive expansion of fossil fuel extraction in the lands and waters of Aotearoa New Zealand. We support the transition to appropriate renewable fuel and energy systems for the good of all people, species, the economy and the climate. We will work together across the country, to these ends.

The Government has spent tens of millions of dollars of taxpayers’ money subsidising seismic surveys, in order to attract the deep sea oil industry to New Zealand.

The state-owned enterprise Solid Energy is planning to mine billions of tonnes of lignite coal in Southland – the dirtiest coal there is in terms of greenhouse emissions.

Underground fracturing (fracking) of shale for oil and gas extraction is already occurring in Taranaki, and is being planned for areas throughout the country. Fracking has devastating effects on water, land and air quality and human health.

The Government is pushing the expansion of the fossil fuels sector contrary to the need for a global transition towards clean energy.

“Those represented here at the hui intend to change the directions of those plans by working together with our communities, and taking peaceful action to ensure that Aotearoa New Zealand’s energy future is a clean one, and not one tied to destructive and unnecessary fossil fuels,” says Steve Abel, Greenpeace NZ Climate Campaigner.

The Government’s actions come despite global greenhouse gas emissions being extremely close to triggering a state of runaway climate change.

Ends

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