From the Taranaki Daily News – 1st February 2015 – by Brad Roberts
An environmental group whose members want oil, coal and gas left in the ground voiced their concerns in Taranaki at the weekend.
The Environment and Conservation Organisations of New Zealand (ECO) was in the region to see oil and gas installations and to talk with people who held concerns about the local environment.
Cath Wallace, vice-chairwoman of ECO, said she was concerned people were being left out of the decision-making process.
“It is important that all groups make their concerns about changes to the Resource Management Act known,” she said.
“If the changes are allowed, they will make more damage to the environment and allow further exclusion of communities from any planning processes.”
Yesterday Jeanette Fitzsimons, a former Green Party co-leader and MP spoke to an audience at Muru Raupatu Marae about the support for keeping fossil fuels out of New Zealand.
“I am in Taranaki to work with others to keep fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and gas in the ground,” she said.
“I want to support Taranaki people in their struggle against the multiple oil and gas wells that are fracking so close to their homes, polluting their streams, and water supplies.
“I am hoping our discussions over the weekend lead to a lot more collaborative campaigning where we all support each other’s actions.”
Graham Pearson, joint organiser from the Sustainable Whanganui Trust said he was delighted a variety of people had attended.
“I am thrilled that such a wide range of young, and old, seasoned campaigners and newbies have come filled with passion and the conviction that we must make changes for a sustainable future,” he said.