Taranaki residents hung a banner in a tree at WOMAD in New Plymouth on Saturday night reading ‘Todd – Shell: Stop mining Taranaki’. Todd Energy and Shell, two of the festival’s major sponsors, are currently mining for oil and gas across Taranaki which has raised concerns amongst Taranaki residents about its contribution to climate change and further pollution of the local environment.
A public meeting in Okato on Tuesday will draw attention to the massive expansion of oil and gas exploration across Taranaki and nationwide.
“With 30 new oil and gas exploration permits for Taranaki, Maritime NZ says we now live in the most likely place for a major oil spill in NZ, threatening wildlife, kaimoana and our beaches” says one of the meeting’s organisers.
“A new drilling technique called ‘fracking’ that is poisoning drinking water and causing cancers, asthma and animal health problems overseas, is quickly becoming widespread in Taranaki, not to mention the problems of peak oil and climate change… so how can we stop it?”
“Survey company BTW has started further seismic surveying in recent weeks along the coast between Okato and Rahotu. Some land-owners are stopping the survey by blocking access to their land. Is there a way we can stand together against this environmental destruction as a community?” queries a coastal resident.
“While the companies of this totally unsustainable industry are making billions of dollars, the local community will not really profit from the exploration given the costs we will bear from the pollution and damages.”
Come to a public meeting on Tuesday 22nd March at 7pm, Hempton Hall in Okato, to hear more about what’s going on and what communities around the world are doing to safeguard their environments and their livelihoods.