Press release: Climate Justice Taranaki vindicated by the Advertising Standard Authority


Three months after Climate Justice Taranaki (CJT) filed its complaint on the Petroleum Exploration and Production Association (PEPANZ)’s seismic survey website, the Advertising Standard Authority (ASA) announced its Decision today.

CJT’s complaint stated that the PEPANZ website did not comply fully with the Advertising Code of Ethics and Code for Environmental Claims. CJT argued that the description of onshore seismic survey on the website was misleading and deceptive as it omitted the common use of explosives in the process.

We know in Taranaki, some of these explosives have failed to detonate and are left in the ground on people’s land, posing danger and rendering the area un-usable for years. By stating that trucks with vibrating plates are used, and not mentioning the use of multiple explosives with known safety risks and disruptions, we believed the website was deceiving,” said Catherine Cheung, Researcher of CJT.

Something she ate Clean Ocean Action

In terms of offshore seismic survey in search for oil and gas, CJT argued that the website overstated the scientific acceptance of the technology and was inaccurate and unsubstantiated by evidence.

The website claimed that decades of seismic surveying and research have shown no evidence to suggest that sound from seismic surveys in normal operating circumstances has harmed marine species or ecological communities. But in fact, there have been increasing number of peer-reviewed research and expert evidence which showed that such noise caused or could cause harm to a wide range of marine species, from zooplankton to scallops, lobsters, squids, fish, penguins and marine mammals,” Cheung explained.

During the review of CJT’s complaint, PEPANZ tried to argue that the website was not advertising but designed to be “educational”, and therefore not fell under ASA’s jurisdiction.

We felt vindicated when ASA ruled that the website did meet the definition of advertisement as it promoted the interest of an advertiser, in this case the petroleum exploration and production industry, and PEPANZ amended its website following our complaint.

This is just a small win for our long-term campaign to keep fossil fuels in the ground and to halt widespread injustice and extreme climate chaos. To further our cause, a Rally for Climate Justice is being organised in Wellington from 26-28th March, outside the annual Petroleum Conference. It is time to stand up for our ‘nuclear free moment’,” Cheung concluded.

The ASA Decision, including CJT’s original complaint  and PEPANZ’s response, is on ASA website.

Cartoon source: Clean Ocean Action

Media coverage: Climate Justice group settles advertising complaint against oil and gas body Pepanz, TDN 9 March 2018 (the word ‘wins’ in the original heading was changed to ‘settles’  overnight!)


Press release: Electricarna – Sat 24 February


Climate Justice Taranaki cordially invite Taranaki locals and visitors to the inaugural Electricarna this Sat 24 February, 3-7 pm at the New World carpark on Courtenay Street, New Plymouth.

The event will showcase a variety of electric vehicles (EVs) which are becoming popular alternatives to petrol guzzlers. Visitors will have the opportunity to meet passionate EV owners eager to share their knowledge and experience on their electric cars and bikes.

We are so excited to work with local EV enthusiasts who have made this event possible. The amount of energy and expertise is amazing!  It is clear that awareness on climate change is growing and people are embracing alternatives to fossil fuels.  Transport and agriculture are the biggest greenhouse gas emitters in New Zealand.  As more drivers shift to EVs, individually or community owned, and public transport also becomes electrified, New Zealand will come closer to becoming carbon zero,” said Catherine Cheung, spokesperson of Climate Justice Taranaki.

Stephen Hobo-Tuck, founder of Naki EV Owners Group and co-organiser of Electricarna, wanted a more personal and hands-on experience for EV owners in New Plymouth, so Electricarna is a way of meeting that need.

EVs are popping up in all sorts of places, being used as business vehicles and second family cars. The most popular model is the Nissan Leaf (LEAF stands for Leading, Environmentally Friendly, Affordable Family Vehicle) which comes in hatchback and van and has been around for 8 years now. BMW have the i3 model which is also well regarded, being more powerful and having more range than the Leaf. Top of the range is, of course, Elon Musk’s Tesla, with blistering performance and huge range, with a price to match. No matter how you look at it, electric vehicles are here to stay, so come along on Saturday and LOOK, LEARN and LOVE the new electric vehicles: the future of transport,”said Stephen Hobo-Tuck.

The organisers thank The Better NZ Trust – Leading the Charge, for their logistics support, New World for providing us with the venue, and Taranaki Environmental Education Trust for promotion.


New car event quietly cruises into town (TDN, 25 Feb 2018)

Electric spark to car events (EV Talk, 26 Feb 2018)

Press Release: Ocean Killers: OMV, Schlumberger, Amazon Warrior


“In the last 42 days, the seismic survey ship ‘Amazon Warrior’ has been forced to stop 28 times according to reports from iwi marine mammal observers onboard because the ship has come too close to whales, dolphins or seals.” said Climate Justice Taranaki spokesperson Emily Bailey. “That’s threatened or endangered species in harm’s way every one and a half days in OMV and Schlumberger’s irresponsible pursuit of oil”.

amazonwarrior 01-24-18 at 09.52 AM

Photo: The Amazon Warrior’s path of destruction, from Google Earth KMZ

“Climate Justice Taranaki fully supports the actions of Greenpeace protectors who locked on to the Amazon Warrior’s support ship yesterday in Port Taranaki. We have a proud history of civil disobedience by brave people who are willing to stand up for what’s right. Schlumberger and OMV should be ashamed of their backward operations at a time when our seas are dying and climate chaos has begun.”

“New research has proven seismic blasting kills off zooplankton and krill out to at least 1.2 kilometres from every hydrophone trailed behind the survey ships. These tiny animals underpin whole ocean productivity and are why the Southern Taranki Bight provides important feeding and nursery grounds or migration corridors for some 36 cetacean species including critically endangered Maui dolphins and endangered Blue Whales. It is part of one of the two most biodiverse areas in the world – and a hotspot for commercial and recreational fishers.”

“Together with the Cook Strait, the South Taranaki Bight is also an internationally recognised Important Bird Area, identified by Forest and Bird. Research on our ‘At risk-declining’ Little Blue Penguin has shown that some birds swam all the way from Marlborough to feed in the South Taranaki Bight. A new study on the breeding endangered African Penguin revealed a strong avoidance of their preferred foraging ground during seismic blasting, affecting their reproductive success.”

“The Iwi Chairs and Taranaki iwi and hapu came out in full against this seismic survey along with thousands of New Zealanders who don’t think the destruction of our planet is worth the price of oil. Some Taranaki iwi have also declared they want no more of this industry at all in their rohe and are demanding complete removal of all infrastructure.”

“While two other companies in the seismic industry have just gone bankrupt, Schlumberger has now declared it’s financially unviable to continue seismic surveying but they are to complete their current contracts. OMV nears the end of this survey, coming in close now to Taranaki’s coastal Marine Mammal Sanctuary. It’s time OMV, and next on the list: Todd, pull out of these contracts and do the right thing for the future of Taranaki and our planet.”



Climate Justice Taranaki

Photos from the Rally on the Water


Here are some photos from the protest in New Plymouth against the seismic survey, held on 30th December 2017.

MEDIA ADVISORY: Climate Justice Taranaki regrets EPA drilling decision


“We are deeply disappointed by the Environmental Protection Authority’s decision to grant Shell consents to 2050 for the use of a jack-up rig and discharge of harmful contaminants off the Taranaki coast.

“As we stressed repeatedly at various hearings, cumulative effects from the proposed and existing activities have not been assessed properly. The way applications are assessed in isolation, with no regards to the total harm and consequence on the environment and marine species, is ludicrous.  You can’t keep adding stress to the system and expect it to be fine! Based on the precautionary principle, the application should have been declined” says Catherine Cheung, researcher of Climate Justice Taranaki.

“We are supposed to protect the environment, the marine life and the climate. Drilling for more fossil fuels is the last thing this or future generations need.  Future generations will look back at this time in disbelief as to why we keep putting the future environmental stability of this planet at risk for short-term monetary gain.

Climate change is a reality now. The time for action was three decades ago. So why does the EPA have its head stuck in the sand?  Our group will continue to organise on the front-lines of climate change for a just transition towards an ecological sustainable society” concludes Urs Signer, spokesperson of Climate Justice Taranaki.
Media coverage:
EPA ignores wide picture in Taranaki oil consent (Waatea news, 19Jan18)

Stop the seismic survey – Rally on the water!


24796781_1711500068900299_5066012273477453816_nMultinational oil and gas giant Schlumberger has started a huge 3D-seismic survey off the Taranaki coast. The ‘Amazon Warrior’ ship returned to Aotearoa after being chased away from the East Coast. Drilling in a known whale feeding and nursing ground? We don’t think so! More emissions while the climate is changing? We don’t think so! Risking further oil spills on our pristine coast? We don’t think so! Read the rest of this entry »

MEDIA RELEASE: Seismic survey monster not welcome in Taranaki waters


Antarctica-Sea-Ice-Melting-NEWSHUB-1120 Nov monthly sea ice extent since 1978plus CO2 emissions fossil fuel

“The seismic survey monster boat ‘Amazon Warrior’ is not welcome in Taranaki waters” says Emily Bailey, spokesperson for the community group Climate Justice Taranaki.

The 125 metre long ship is currently on its way to Aotearoa, having left South Korea earlier in the month.

“The boat is returning to Aotearoa to conduct a 3D seismic survey for Schlumberger, a multinational oil and gas giant. While we probably won’t get to see the boat, it is of huge concern to our beaches, the marine life, all the whales and of course our climate. Scientists have just warned that the unprecedented ice melt in the Antarctic could be the tipping point, disrupting global and New Zealand climate. It is time the government step in and stop this madness of allowing profit-driven companies to continue causing havoc.”

“The offshore permit, still under evaluation, which covers over 18,000 square kilometres of ocean (that’s 2.5 times as big as the Taranaki region), is exactly where a blue whale feeding and nursing ground was discovered. Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage, recently confirmed that ‘one of the goals in the Green Party’s confidence and supply agreement with Labour was to look at establishing a Taranaki blue whale sanctuary.’ We challenge the new government to do just that and as a first step, stop this seismic survey ship and deny granting Schlumberger’s permit.”

“In order to create a just ecologically sustainable future, we all know we need to transition away from fossil fuels. The time for action on the frontlines of climate change is now” concludes Emily Bailey.


Graph source (left): Newshub in ‘Daunting’ Antarctic sea ice plummet could be tipping point

Graph source (right): Global Carbon Project in Bad News: Global carbon emissions have suddenly started risen again (New Scientist 13 Nov 2017)


Media coverage: Greenpeace issues warning to seismic survey ship (Radio NZ, 19 Nov 17)