MEDIA RELEASE: Wai 796 report good for the climate

MEDIA RELEASE: ‘Wai 796 report good for the climate’
DATE: 22nd December 2010
FROM: Climate Justice Taranaki

“The Waitangi Tribunal 796 Report on the Management of the Petroleum Resource, released today, is a clear finding that the Crown breached the rights and protection of tangata whenua promised in Te Tiriti o Waitangi. If the Tribunal’s recommendations are accepted by the crown it will be a step towards  greater community involvement in decision-making and stronger environmental protections. We expect the crown won’t accept but it’s good to make the communities demands heard” said Climate Justice Taranaki and Otaraua hapu member Emily Bailey.“This month’s disastrous Cancun climate talks put tackling climate change into the hands of fossil fuel companies, the capitalist market and corrupt governments. Most specialists have come out saying that the change in management will now increase world temperatures by 7°C resulting in near global genocide of the poor” continued Bailey.

For decades the oil and gas industry has been making billions of dollars from the Taranaki region with very little coming to local communities and environmental protections near zero. Maori have consistently called for greater protections and mining access to be disallowed in some areas. The crown delegated responsibility to councils who were allowed to disregard the legal rights of tangata whenua, under the Resource Management Act and Te Tiriti o Waitangi, and imposed access licences that caused the destruction of over 100 waahi tapu in the rohe of one Taranaki hapu alone.

Under the so-called management of these councils we had NZ’s largest oil spill near Okato in 2007, which saw a pitiful fine of only $105,000 paid by the polluter. Two more oil spills this year were barely even reported because they happened outside of council jurisdiction.

Now, more oil and gas exploration permits have just been awarded to numerous multi-national companies, covering an area of nearly 300,000 square kilometres. This is over 42 times the current area being mined for oil and gas.

“It’s crazy. We are supposed to be reducing greenhouse gas emissions not majorly increasing them. The permitted land, sea and air discharges could seriously pollute groundwater and soils, wipe out marinelife and threaten livlihoods not just locally but globally through the added effects of climate chaos” added Bailey.

“We will not watch silently as Papatuanuku and Ranginui are threatened by profit-driven companies for the benefit of the rich. Instead, we are organising a movement here in Taranaki to confront and stop the rampant mining and stand in solidarity with people across the world who are resisting at the front lines of climate change” read a statement by Climate Justice Taranaki.

[ENDS]

NOTES:
1. Climate Justice Taranaki is part of the Climate Camp Aotearoa (CCA) network. CCA is part of the inernational Climate Justice Action Network which calls for horizontal organising of direct action and people-based solutions, not market solutions to climate change.

2. A hui is planned for early 2011 in Taranaki to discuss plans to stop the mining.

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