“The TPPA would limit governments’ ability to innovate and address deeply entrenched inequalities in health, education and income, and exacerbate rapidly escalating problems such as environmental degradation and climate change...” Coates, et al. 2016
So why is New Zealand signing onto it?
To show the government once more that Kiwi’s all over Aotearoa are against this treacherous deal, a series of events have been planned across the country in the lead up to the signing of the deal in Auckland on Feb 4th. If you’re Taranaki, join us at 1pm Sat 30th Jan, at the Puke Ariki Landing, New Plymouth.
It’s not too late to oppose TPPA, protesters say (TDN, 31 Jan)
The world is watching this hikoi today – iwi gather at Auckland Park to protest TPP (TVNZ, 4 Feb)
It is concerning to hear Taranaki farmers Philip and Ainsley Luscombe describe South Taranaki District Council’s proposed buffer zones between dwellings and oil & gas installations as a “council approved land grab“. Their dairy farm borders onto the Shell Todd (STOS) Production Station, Vector Co-generation Plant and Ballance Agri-nutrients Ammonia Urea Plant and encompasses two Kapuni wellsites. The Luscombes’ submission to the council stated that they’d lose property rights on a significant part of their land because they’d not be able to build within council’s proposed 150-300m set backs from wellsites, industrial and hazardous facilities.
Farmer Darryl Smith and family who also live in the vicinity argued that buffer zones should be required on the sites of any new Rural Industrial Zone developments, but “To impose them on the pre-existing neighbours is theft by stealth, creating a negative effect on capital value and greatly affecting their ability to operate their property and business.” The Smiths’ submission documented the families’ multiple appeals to council in 1968, 1980 and 1998, to set up buffer zones around the then new industrial sites within what is now the Kapuni Rural Industrial Zone. All three attempts were rejected. For the council to now turn around and propose restrictions on neighbouring farmers within prescribed set back distance from petrochem facilities, without some sort of mandatory compensation from the industry, does seem like gross injustice.
Importantly, substantial setback distances way beyond 150-300m are essential for the safety and wellbeing of people and animals who reside and work in close proximity to oil and gas wellsites, hazardous installations and heavy industries. In addition to the fatality risks from well blowouts or gas release within 600m or more, as pointed out by fellow campaigner Sarah Roberts, there are serious health impacts from cancer to birth defects, related to longterm exposures to pollutants and other stresses for people living as far as 700-1600m from wellsites.
We urge all to have a look at some of the submissions on council’s website, and send in further submissions re your support or objection to their points. Notably the Petroleum Exploration and Production Assoc (PEPANZ) and a number of oil companies have submitted on council’s proposed plan, largely, it seems, to further weaken any protection for neighbours and the environment. New Plymouth and Stratford District Councils both submitted in support of South Taranaki’s proposed plan, and are intending to align their district plans and ‘provide regional consistency’. Taranaki Energy Watch’s submission is comprehensive and well worth supporting.
So don’t miss your last chance to have a say because this district plan for South Taranaki with all its rules, will have far-reaching implications on oil and gas and other developments elsewhere in Taranaki and NZ. Further submissions will close at 4pm 29 Jan 2016! Details on council website.
How low oil prices can fuel an unexpected revolution of renewables (SCMP, 21 Jan) – “with oil at below US$30 a barrel, we have the opportunity of a lifetime to shift investment to the clean energy that is needed. “Big oil” companies are haemorrhaging at the wells, laying off large numbers of staff, and countries are now less inclined to keep those unnatural levels of subsidies intact… This creates the opening for a big shift to renewables. … ” Locally, Mighty River beefs up its business lines with solar could be the beginning! (NBR, 19 Jan)
January 2016 – New Zealand O&G Wrap (Energy Stream, Jan) – overview of oil and gas related activities planned in NZ this year, notably maintenance and upgrade of the Shell-Todd Pohukura platform, the OMV Maari floating-production vessel Raroa and the Ballance Agri-Nutrients ammonia-urea plant in Kaponga; and start of offshore seismic surveys in the New Caledonia Basin permit (147,150 sq km) in northwest NZ by a Chinese owned vessel contracted by Shell, Shell and Mosman’s review of their NZ assets… Read the rest of this entry »
“The minimal uptake of the national government’s petroleum block offer reflects not only the low global oil prices but growing public resistance, and signals the beginning of the end to extreme oil” says Catherine Cheung, member of Climate Justice Taranaki (CJT).
The nine new permits granted are all located in Taranaki or the offshore Taranaki Basin. (Map from NZPAM website)
Read the rest of this entry »
Youth delegation at COP21. Source: New Internationalist
Growing up in foothills of the Himalayas, Sagar Aryal from Nepal was 10 years old when he realised the urgency of climate action. He witnessed the mountains melt, glacial lakes flood, and the human impacts of the climate crisis. Over 2 million people depend on the mountains for fresh water and natural resources. At 20, Sagar spoke strongly at the UN climate conference (COP21) in Paris.
AJ from the Marshall Islands also spoke, “I want you guys to look at me, and think about my people. One point five to survive, one point five to strive,” echoed by the crowd chanting. Read the rest of this entry »
“Footage of cruelty to bobby calves in New Zealand that screened last night shows just part of an industry that harms its workers, its animals and the environment” says Emily Bailey from Climate Justice Taranaki.
“Here in Taranaki we have loads of farm workers on anti-depressants, with drinking problems and stress-related problems. Suicide rates are through the roof because the industry is set up to maximise profits at the expense of everything else.” Read the rest of this entry »
The Taranaki Regional Council’s suggestion to postpone the public notification processes of the Proposed Regional Freshwater and Land Plan would “delay the much needed policy until after 2020 and cause irreparable harm to rivers, wetlands and soils in Taranaki” say community watchdog Climate Justice Taranaki.
The review of the current plan, published in 2001, is already years overdue. It fails to address the key issues of contaminant discharge into waterways from intensive dairy farming and other industries. Read the rest of this entry »