Climate Justice Taranaki fully supports the Roberts-Morrison family’s recent call for an immediate moratorium on fracking and an urgent, independent inquiry into the processes involved (resource consenting, implementation and monitoring).
On Feb 29, Sarah Roberts and David Morrison organized a public meeting in Stratford. The meeting began with a long list of apologies from energy companies and government officials invited but failed to attend the meeting. The Mayor of Stratford and a Green Party MP were the only politicians there.
Sarah Roberts then gave her presentation, highlighting conflicts of interest and the councils’ failure to show duty of care. She presented a review of TRC’s monitoring reports on oil/gas operations, many of which revealed clear breaches of consents, incidences and lack of water sampling, yet TRC rated the companies’ environmental performance and compliance as ‘high’.
David Morrison followed with a brief but disheartening speech, describing Stratford–the Heart of Taranaki–as a cancer sufferer and the councils being the tumours.
Many people on the floor spoke out, revealing their own unsatisfactory experiences with drilling companies and with councils’ apathetic attitude to public concerns. Notably, Gareth Hughes of the Greens spoke about his questions to the Minister of Energy Phil Heatley in Parliament the day before. He also wrote a blog about the public meeting.
The meeting, attended by nearly 50 people, concluded with two motions:
1) The meeting calls on the Taranaki Regional Council, and the Stratford, South Taranaki and New Plymouth District Councils to impose an immediate Moratorium on fracking and an urgent, independent inquiry into the process involved and what is really happening in Taranaki.
2) The meeting supports the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council’s call for the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment to instigate a study on the likely risks and benefits of oil exploration using hydraulic fracturing on the East Coast.