“Energy and Resources Minister Simon Bridges this morning offered up 405,000km2 of land and sea to oil and gas companies committing his government to further crimes against the planet just two days after the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reiterated once again that climate change is a reality for communities across the globe. Unless we immediately deal with our fossil-fuel addiction and stop the extraction of oil, gas and coal, we are virtually digging our planet’s grave” says Urs Signer, member of Climate Justice Taranaki.
The block offers that have gone out for tender include some 55,000 km2 of offshore area in the Taranaki Basin and 1200 km2 of land in Taranaki which together with current permits, engulf nearly the entire region other than the national park and parts of New Plymouth area. Elsewhere, the block offers include huge areas offshore of Otago, Canterbury, Wellington and Auckland coasts; and onshore areas on the East Coast and the South Island West Coast.
“The government has chosen a path of destruction that doesn’t even take the future of the next generation into consideration. It is squandering our opportunities for transition to a safe, low carbon economy.”
“Note however, that community opposition to the drilling is not futile! The Parihaka community in coastal Taranaki has written two statements opposing the government’s agenda ‘demanding that the government cease the permitting of petroleum mining and exploration in our environment.’ On the block offer maps, Parihaka now finds itself surrounded by areas released for tender to drilling companies, yet Parihaka Pā itself has been excluded.”
NZ Petroleum and Minerals states that ‘we have removed Parihaka Pā recognising its importance to the Taranaki Iwi.’
“Communities, hapu and iwi from the far north to the deep south are united in our opposition to the fossil-fuel agenda. Instead, we favour energy reduction and renewable energy for a sustainable and just future for all” concludes Urs Signer.
More oil and gas drilling areas open (Stuff, 2 April)
Parihaka excluded from exploration (Waatea News, 3 April)
Maps leave pa beset on all sides (Wanganui Chronicle, 4 April)