Fracking Tour calls for council audit

30/07/2012

This weekend’s Dirty As Regional Fracking Tour of Taranaki brought together around 60 people from across Taranaki, the Bay of Plenty, Gisborne, Hawkes Bay, Dannevirke and Wellington. There was also media from local papers, tv, radio and independent film makers.

The day began and ended with tears for many people as locals Michael Self, Sarah Roberts and others recounted their experiences with the oil and gas industry and the regional council.

It’s very hard to prove contamination from the industry but how do you explain a community that has the country’s highest rates of cancer and multiple sclerosis alongside carcinogenic diesel frack operations that contaminated the region’s water supply? How do you explain the community’s high rates of cot death from industrial nitrate poisoning when the only way to prove it is to perform an autopsy on the baby within 20 minutes of death? South Taranaki District Councillor Michael Self explained how a farmer cut open his dead cow and “chocolate blood” spilled out to which he declared “yep, nitrate poisoning”. Shell have several more frack operations planned for this area that feeds the town water supply of Hawera. The water intake is directly below the Kapuni wells that are allowed to discharge ‘treated’ contaminants to rivers. Treatment only involves skimming of hydrocarbons from pits of ‘produced water’ that can also contain frack chemicals. When this was raised with the district council last year, they immediately started screening the water for BTEX chemicals but have no plan in place if they found some. Read the rest of this entry »


PETITION: Audit Taranaki Regional Council’s regulation of oil and gas activities

30/07/2012

Please sign our petition to encourage the auditor general to audit the Taranaki Regional Council: http://www.change.org/en-AU/petitions/audit-taranaki-regional-council-s-regulation-of-oil-and-gas-activities

We have concerns with poor regulating and monitoring of drill sites, production stations, fracking operations and landfarms in the Taranaki region. This insufficient protection of the environment and community has placed families, workers, wildlife, stock and our farming and fishing economy at considerable risk both historically and now. We believe the Taranaki Regional Council has been derelict in their duties as regulators by not ensuring regular appropriate scientific testing and compliance with consents.


MEDIA RELEASE: Community call for audit of Regional Council

27/07/2012

Climate Justice Taranaki and concerned community groups across the country are launching a campaign tomorrow (Saturday 28 July) to call on the Auditor General to scrutinise Taranaki Regional Council’s regulation of the oil and gas industry.

A petition has been initiated stating “We have concerns with poor regulating and monitoring of drill sites, production stations, fracking operations and landfarms in the Taranaki region. This insufficient protection of the environment and community has placed families, workers, wildlife, stock and our farming and fishing economy at considerable risk of contamination both historically and now. We believe TRC has been derelict in their duties as regulators by not ensuring regular appropriate scientific testing and compliance with consents.”

The petition will be officially launched at the end of the Dirty As Regional Fracking Tour this Saturday, which takes at least two bus loads of concerned citizens and media to several industry sites of concern in Taranaki. A report detailing those concerns will also be revealed on the tour.

A previous petition launched by these groups resulted in an investigation by the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment and a call for a moratorium on fracking. Dunedin council joined the growing number of councils around the country calling for the moratorium, this week.


MEDIA RELEASE: Community Release Frack Report for “Dirty As” tour

24/07/2012

Climate Justice Taranaki have teamed up with some other concerned locals to put on a public tour of some of Taranaki’s 39 frack sites this Saturday 28 July. They will also be releasing a report on the Taranaki Regional Council’s mismanagement of oil and gas related sites.

“The tour is looking to be a great opportunity for locals and those from further afield to visit some of the Taranaki frack sites. We already have a busload coming from another part of the country and the bus we hired is almost booked out.” said member of Climate Justice Taranaki Emily Bailey.

“Our “Dirty As” bus tour will take media and anyone interested to several sites where fracking chemicals and drilling wastes were allowed to be put onto the land and be dumped into waterways. Some of these sites the regional council admit they didn’t even know existed.”

“We will see what it’s like living next to the 24/7 flares and drill rigs. We will see why people worry whether their water is safe to drink and wonder about family members who are sick”

“As companies are aggressively expanding business, more and more people are rightly refusing to sign consents. The regional council, who is very much a part of the oil and gas industry with their council-owned port making millions from it, are going around those they are supposed to protect. Within the last few months fracking consents have been granted by TRC for many oil companies for multiple wellsites.”

A report will be released at the beginning of the tour which details numerous problems with the council’s management of fracking operations. One section has been released today which states:

“Todd Energy Ltd Hydraulic fracturing data for North Taranaki: A review of the 4 wellsites subject to 9 hydraulic fracturing operations in this area found no environmental monitoring reports published for 3 of the 4 sites and only visual monitoring occurring at the other. There are 3 more fracking consents recently granted for their Mangahewa A, C and D wellsites.”

Everyone is welcome on the frack tour. Meet at Ngaere Hall near Stratford at 10am. Email climatejusticetaranaki@riseup.net to book a $10 seat on the bus or follow in your own car. Maps will be provided. A virtual tour will be repeated at 7pm at the Eltham Presbyterian Camp followed by social korero and a cup of tea.

For anyone concerned about damage to Taranaki’s eco-tourism, the tour will also point out the many historic, beautiful and iconic sites of Taranaki too, for contrast.

PDF Attachment: https://climatejusticetaranaki.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/hydraulic-fracturing-data-analysis-for-north-taranaki-2.pdf


MEDIA RELEASE: Support for Greenpeace Petition to Parliament

24/07/2012

“Climate Justice Taranaki welcome Greenpeace’s petition to parliament today (July 24) to ‘permanently STOP ALL plans to open up NZ’s coastal waters to offshore oil drilling and STOP ANY expansion of coal mining’.”

“Taranaki receives some benefits from the fossil fuel industry but we have also suffered four oil spills, well and pipe blowouts, polluted rivers, possible contamination from fracking and several deaths from accidents. The industry is rapidly expanding but there is not enough protection for our communities.”

“We commend GreenpeaceNZ and all the other community groups who have worked for years informing the public of the serious threats of continued and now more dangerous oil and gas exploration.”

“The government’s short-sighted plans to “save” our economy from bankruptcy by plundering future generations’ natural resources is helping push the planet to the brink of unstoppable climate chaos. The hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders who signed today’s petition are making it clear that we need to create a sustainable economy for our communities now.”


MEDIA RELEASE: UK fracking study fails the planet

20/07/2012

“Climate Justice Taranaki welcomes any scientific report into the controversial fracking technique but Britain’s Royal Society study falls short of a thorough scientific study. Their report states the environmental risk of fracking can be managed effectively by implementing ‘operational best practices’ and strict regulation but the report fails to acknowledge several areas of major concern.”

“The Royal Society study failed to look at fracking waste disposal (known here as landfarming) where toxic frack sludge is spread onto pastoral lands. It failed to look at the risks posed by earthquakes to well integrity or even the longterm integrity of pipe casings given industry figures suggest 50% of well casings fail after 20 years. Stunningly it failed to even look at the impacts of fossil fuel extraction on the climate of the planet [1]”

“The study looked at seismicity induced by fracking, but not at the effects of naturally occurring earthquakes on the integrity of the wells. Even with a small 2.3 earthquake induced by fracking at a Cuadrilla drilling site in  Lancashire ‘the extent of the wellcasing deformation was greater than 0.5 inches’.” [2]

“If a scientific report into the environmental effects of extracting fossil fuels fails to acknowledge the impacts of climate change on humanity and the planet, one has to seriously question the validity of such studies. Rather than coming up with more dangerous ways of extracting dirty fossil fuels for a dead-end economy, we need to urgently transition to a clean, sustainable economy.”

“Taranaki Regional Council Director of Environment Quality Gary Bedford’s assertion that fracking in Taranaki is ‘doubly safe’ is ludicrous given the decades council failed to even require resource consents and monitoring for fracking, and their continued failure to adequately test frack operations, allowing monitoring reports full of holes.”

NOTES
[1] The report states: “Climate risks have not been analysed.” Page 8 of the report
[2] Page 45 of the report

The report can be read here: http://royalsociety.org/uploadedFiles/Royal_Society_Content/policy/projects/shale-gas/2012-06-28-Shale-gas.pdf


Invitation to a Taranaki Frack Site Tour – July 28, workshops, events, protests, news and views

12/07/2012

Tena koutou katoa,

This newsletter is a biggie and we have a big event planned in two weeks time that we invite you all to attend: the ‘Taranaki Dirty As Regional Fracking Tour’ on July 28. We hear about and see these ‘normal’ Taranaki oil and gas sites all over our region so now you can find out what really goes on there and who bears the brunt of this billion dollar industry. See below for more information.

As always in these panui, we have lots of other invites to events organised by awesome Taranaki agitators and educators. Please get along to them and support a more socially, environmentally and economically sustainable Taranaki. There’s a national call-out for September and some thought provoking writing and a radio interview at the end.

Lastly, some gardening tips to go with the amazing weather we’re having lately. Get your potatoes/taewa sprouting now for an early planting at the end of the month. Prepare your soil and leave it for a while so birds can get the bugs out. Ash from non-treated wood, paper or kawakawa (if you’re doing old-style pest control) makes a great fertiliser for taewa that has been used in this fertile region for hundreds of years. Plant taewa in trenches. Mound them up with light soil as they grow and they should be ready by Xmas.

Nau te rourou, naku te rourou, ka ora ai te tangata.
With your basket and my basket, we will feed the future.

Climate Justice Taranaki
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Taranaki Dirty As Regional Fracking Tour
Sat 28 July 2012

All Welcome!

This World Day of Action Against Fracking, join local residents and others from afar on a guided tour of Taranaki’s poorly regulated, mismanaged and non-compliant Oil and Gas production and disposal sites.
Learn the truth behind our region’s LOW environmental performance and what local politicians DON’T want you to know. Find out from residents what it’s really like living next to gas wells and toxic flares burning day and night…

Meet at Ngaere Hall near Stratford 10am, depart 10:30, return 4.30 pm.
Bus fare $10/person or follow in your car, BYO packed lunch.
Public presentations and social korero in the evening, tea and biccies provided.

Accommodation available near Stratford for Friday and Saturday nights. Koha and own bedding please.

For booking, email climatejusticetaranaki@riseup.net
More information soon at http://www.climatejusticetaranaki.info
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New Plymouth PROTEST Asset sales!

12 noon Saturday July 14, 2012
Huatoki plaza, Devon st West, New Plymouth

This is a national day of action against John Key’s planned asset sales. We are planning to march from Huatoki Plaza up to Jonathon Young’s electoral office on Gill st and auction it off. This will be child friendly and peaceful. Please join us and help send John Key a clear message not to sell our kids futures! This protest is supported by the Taranaki Trade Union movement.

There are protests across the country. For more info:
https://www.facebook.com/events/448550981834707/
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Greenpeace Fundraiser Movie Night

7pm Saturday July 14, 2012
Egmont Village Community Hall

The Rainbow Warriors of Waiheke Island
http://www.therainbowwarriors.nl/trailer.html

“It is a documentary about a group of Greenpeace pioneers once part of the crew of the Rainbow Warrior. They saved whales around Iceland and campaigned in the Pacific against nuclear testing. But their adventures come to a tragic end in 1985 when bombs planted by French Secret Service sank the ship and one person was killed.
Now, 25 years later, they are living on Waiheke Island in Aotearoa. Advancing age causes them to make up the balance: have their ideals proven to be tenable, and what has their activist past achieved for the world and for themselves?”

Koha Recommendation: $5-10
Food: Popcorn and Tea provided
Contact: nicmue14@yahoo.com, 021 0758804

All money goes towards Greenpeace and their aim to protect the Arctic from being opened up to oil exploitation!
Looking forward to seeing you there. https://www.facebook.com/events/363665370370324/
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More Avonstour sustainable living courses:

14 July     – Smoking & curing, $140, 10am-4pm
21 July     – Introduction to biodynamics & the planting calendar, $100, 10am-4pm
28 July     – Weston Price – offal processing & cooking, $140, 10am-4pm
29 July     – Fruit tree pruning & grafting, $100, 10am-4pm
4 Aug      – Basic butchery 1, $140, 10am-4pm
11 Aug    – Smallholders guide to livestock, $100, 10am-3pm
12 Aug    – Chook dome building & egg curry making…, $80, 10am-3pm
26 Aug    – Creating a food forest in NZ, $120, 9am-5pm

Morning teas provided. If you want to book any of these courses go to http://www.korito.co.nz, ring 06 7522181 or email me at info@korito.co.nz. For more info go to http://www.avonstour.co.nz
Cheers
Dee Turner
Korito Education
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Felt Slippers Workshop

Course fee: $120 incl. material
15 July 2012, 10am – 4pm
Venue: Egmont Village Community Centre

Felting warm slippers out of sheep wool is an extremely satisfying technique. These slippers will fit you perfectly because we are moulding them directly onto your feet.
Bring a couple of towels in different sizes. No harm will come to them, they will just get wet. All other materials and tools will be provided, but bring your own wool if you want. Please bring a plate of food to share if possible. Coffee and tea will be provided. You will leave this workshop with tired arms, a handout with step-by-step instructions, a pair of still damp but very unique slippers and a proud smile on your face because you did them all by yourself!
Contact & Bookings: Franziska, franziska@babuli.eu  06-7696841
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Time Banking

It’s a relatively new concept to New Zealand. It facilitates the sharing of skills between its members, both individuals and community groups. Time Banking creates and promotes well-being, helping communities flourish and thrive. Time Banking activity is measured by the time it takes to complete a piece of work. Everyone’s time is considered equal.

We would love to meet you at our next Timebank New Member Orientation

7:30-8:30pm Thursday 26th July
St. Mary’s Peace Memorial Hall (opposite St Mary’s Cathedral), New Plymouth
44 Vivian St – plenty of parking next to building and on the road.

·         Meet other new and existing members.
·         Ask all the questions you can dream of.
·         Share stories of Timebanks transactions.
·         Meet your ‘Time Angel’ (every new member has a dedicated buddy).
·         Let us know how we can support you to make full use of Timebanks.

Light refreshments provided. See you there! For more information contact Tony: (06) 759 1178 ext.4 or (0274) 934 601 tony@imaginebetter.co.nz
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Calling all climate campaigners

Dear friends

We’ve heard that the Petroleum Exploration and Production Association of New Zealand (PEPANZ) are presenting the NZ Petroleum Summit this September 19-20 here in Wellington. http://www.petroleumsummit.co.nz/

A number of us thought Yukkkk! There’s no way that’s going ahead without us protesting.  So, we’re calling a Wellington planning meeting to organise how we might like to respond.

The planning meeting will be:
7:30 – 9:00pm Thursday 16th August
Facebook event here:  http://www.facebook.com/events/428451310532638/
We hope as many of the climate change, climate justice and anti-mining groups and NGOs can make it along. We haven’t got plans yet for what we might do – so please bring your thoughts.

Please note, this is NOT a public meeting; it is for those who want to organise against the NZ Petroleum Summit. Mining bosses and PR reps will most definitely not be welcome.
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Thoughts on Peak Oil and Economic Collapse

I Think I Hear the Fat Lady Singing.
By Stuart Bramhall.

“I have spent this past weekend at a lecture and workshop by Arizonan Guy McPherson, who is currently touring New Zealand. McPherson blogs at Nature Bats Last and has recently published a book called Walking Away from Empire: a Personal Journey. During his lecture he presented some very interesting oil production/price data that has made it possible for a number of mainstream and non-mainstream economists and financial advisers to project a date for the next economic crisis. Many, like McPherson, believe the next one will be so catastrophic it will bring down the global financial system and world trade and monetary system, and possibly our energy and telecommunications grid. In other words, TEOTWAWKI (The End of the World as We Know It)….” more from our Taranaki blogger http://stuartbramhall.aegauthorblogs.com/2012/07/01/i-think-i-hear-the-fat-lady-singing/
Also http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/saturday/audio/2524324/guy-mcpherson-agrarian-anarchy
NOTE: we do not necessarily agree with his ideas around using lots of oil!

Has The Peak Oil Idea… Peaked? And if so, does the planet stand a chance?
By Gordon Campbell.

“They call it oil, but it just might as well be quicksilver. In this year’s Budget, all the energy cost assumptions were based on the oil price for West Texas crude falling from above $US100 a barrel in the March quarter of 2012, to $US94.4 a barrel by the June quarter of 2016. Well, hello. At time of writing (June 18, 2012) the price of West Texas crude was already down to $US83.27 a barrel and falling towards a predicted low of $US65 by next year. In part, this plunge is a reflection of the economic slowdown in the global economy – and sure enough, a fall off in demand can only have helped to send the price of Brent Crude tumbling from its four year high of $US128 a barrel in March to $95.76 in mid June, a trend that has (finally!) flowed through to lower prices at the petrol pump. Short term, that sounds good, right?….” more at http://werewolf.co.nz/2012/06/has-the-peak-oil-idea-peaked/
NOTE: he does not take into account the looming global economic crash but useful analysis anyway.

From the capitalists:

http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2012-03-01/shortcomings-of-capitalism-our-grandchildren-have-no-value

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/10-explosive-bubbles-that-will-kill-capitalism-2012-07-03?pagenumber=2

And one of our own!:

https://climatejusticetaranaki.wordpress.com/2012/06/13/media-release-true-sustainability-not-green-growth-2/