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Ka Nui: Wellington groups to protest NZ Petroleum Summit

Ka Nui: Enough, a coalition of Wellington groups

A coalition of community groups have organised a protest opposing the NZ Petroleum Summit 2012 for 5.15 pm Wednesday the 19th of September outside the Amora Hotel on Wakefield St, which is hosting the summit. During this time, delegates to the conference will be attending a cocktail party hosted by Halliburton, one of the worlds largest oil and gas companies, which benefited from the USA’s war in Iraq.The three day conference will see a gathering of industry and government representatives from across the board, and comes at a time of rising tensions between local communities and the industry.

“We are here today to stand in solidarity with communities across Aotearoa which are bearing the brunt of the expansion of the gas and oil industries” says spokesperson James Barber. "While landowners around the country are organising to ‘lock the gate’ to oil, coal and gas extraction, the government continues to aggressively push its mining and drilling agenda. This is simply unacceptable.'

Among others, Phil Heatley, New Zealand's Energy and Resources Minister will be speaking at the conference, on the government's plans for expanding fossil fuel extraction, and on the potential to “draw international companies to our shores.” The conference takes place with NZ standing on the brink of a huge increase in oil, coal and gas extraction. Currently,permits for hydraulic fracturing (fracking) cover 4.4 million hectares of land, and a further 3 million hectares are being considered for petroleum exploration.

“At a time when we need to be investing in sustainable solutions, the government is pouring all their energy into out dated, dangerous forms of energy which threaten our communities, climate, and health” says James.

“We want to send a clear message to this industry and to the government that we have had enough. We will not stand by and watch as the profits and narrow interests of a few international companies jeopardise the wellbeing of our people and communities."

The demonstration will be followed by a community meeting at 6.30 pm at St Johns church to discuss further actions,and how resistance to the industries’ expansion might be best implemented in NZ.


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