MEDIA RELEASE: Waitara community erect fracking dump signs

FROM: Climate Justice Taranaki
DATE: 16th November 2011 – for immediate release

Taranaki locals participated in today’s ‘National Day of Action Against Fracking’ by erecting warning signs around a toxic frack waste dumpsite in Waitara.

“We erected several signs today around BTW’s Brown Rd landfarm warning the community to keep their children and animals away from this toxic drilling and frack waste site” said Emily Bailey, a member of Climate Justice Taranaki.

“At other fracking sites overseas cows and dogs have been found dead after wandering through flimsy fences and drinking spilt frack fluid.” Said Bailey. “It worries me that that could happen here or that a child could wander off the beach and fall into the toxic storage pits.”

Waitara local Marty Toa participated in getting the signs up and said “the fracking in Taranaki has to stop.”
Another member of Climate Justice Taranaki, Urs Signer, said “the landfarming technique involves scraping off a thin layer of topsoil,spreading the toxic sludge and drilling muds that come from on-shore wells, relaying soil, fertilising, then sowing ready for cows again. This dilution as a solution practice does not have any decent research to back it up as a proper decontamination technique and hardly seems like best practice.”

“Some of the known fracking chemicals used here have warnings not to discharge to waterways yet the Taranaki Regional Council specifically chooses sandy coastal sites for landfarming so the chemicals leach into shallow aquifers or are blown away in the wind. None of the consents so far seem to have been publicly notified so the community does not know what’s going on.”

“The chemical load limits for New Zealand are based on the USA Environmental Protection Agency [EPA] levels, yet the EPA is currently doing a new investigation into fracking chemicals because they, and many other countries now with moratoriums on fracking, don’t believe they know enough to evaluate the situation properly.” said Signer.

“A look at landfarming monitoring reports shows that the dumping of frack waste has been going on under the radar for about six years with the Council seemingly unaware. A recent Official Information Act response confirmed that Council doesn’t even know all the chemicals being dumped and breaches its own resource consent conditions by continually not testing ground water or air discharges at various sites” said Emily Bailey.

“With Labour, Greens and and the Mana party all speaking out with concerns over fracking, the time is right to put an end to this dangerous practice” says Wellington anti-fracking organiser Jessie Dennis.

“We will keep on organising resistance against fracking in our communities. This extraction technique is dangerous and the spreading of toxic drilling sludge in Waitara is outright criminal” said Bailey.

Support for the national day of action has come from Climate Justice Wellington, people in Canterbury, Hawkes Bay, Gisborne and also Tiki Taane, who had ‘Frack No NZ’ written on his guitar on his facebook profile.


Emily Bailey can be contacted via

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