Press Release: At Shell-EPA hearing Climate Justice Taranaki urge for no more drilling

02/10/2017

Shell Taranaki Ltd. (formerly STOS) has applied to the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) for consents to use a jack-up rig for drilling at the Maui gas field and to discharge harmful chemicals at sea.

At the public hearings in New Plymouth, Climate Justice Taranaki will ask that the applications be declined.

Shell has not done any proper assessment of the cumulative effects on the environment and viability of threatened species, should the proposals get approved. Shell’s analysis has been far too narrow,” said Catherine Cheung, member of Climate Justice Taranaki.

Kaschner et al 2011 marine mammal hotspots

“It turns out South Taranaki Bight is a global diversity hotspot for marine mammals, one of the two richest such places on earth. As a party to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (UNCBD), New Zealand has a clear international obligation to protect these species. Yet we are not treating the area with the respect it deserves, more like a sacrificial zone,” added marine scientist Dr. Lyndon DeVantier.

There are at least seven threatened marine mammal species in South Taranaki Bight, six of which are endangered, including the Maui dolphin and blue whale. These are increasingly impacted by a wide array of human activities there, from fishing to maritime traffic, oil and gas seismic surveys, drilling and waste discharge, and now EPA has also decided to allow seabed mining.

Slooten cumulative effects on marine mammal 2017

 “All this is on top of the rapid changes to the ecosystem being driven by climate change, causing increasing sea temperatures, ocean acidification and related impacts on productivity. The science tells us that these will all get worse in coming decades, not better, and any additional impacts, including from what Shell proposes, could push these already threatened species over the edge. It certainly won’t help them to recover, which is what we are supposed to be doing,” Dr DeVantier continued.

We are at the tipping point of a major climate catastrophe, yet the EEZ Act and the RMA do not allow the consideration of climate change in decision making. This is absurd.  The law must, and ultimately will change. In the meantime, communities are rising up against fossil fuel mining, like the farming village of Bentley in the Northern Rivers of Australia,” said Cheung.

This successful resistance is documented in the movie ‘The Bentley Effect’, presently touring New Zealand. Details of local screenings in Taranaki (2-3 Oct), Whanganui, Palmeston North, Wellington and the South Island are available here.

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Media coverage:

EPA hearing into Maui jack-up rig begins (Taranaki Daily News, 2 Oct 2017)

Submissions against Shell drilling to be heard (Newstalk ZB, 3 Oct 2017)

The Bentley Effect (Radio NZ, 3 Oct 2017)

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380+ submissions against Shell-Todd offshore drilling

25/02/2015

?????????????????Over 380 people have made a submission against Shell-Todd’s marine consent application to drill 22 new side-tracked wells and continue gas extraction and production for another 35 years off the Taranaki coast. It was just awesome to watch all the submissions come in, particularly in the last few hours before closing time when we had several submissions per minute flying across the globe. Climate Justice Taranaki made a 30-page submission. Support by donations and other means will help us a great deal in the upcoming fight. Read the rest of this entry »


MEDIA RELEASE: OMV oil spill – time to plug their well

23/02/2015

“It’s time to plug OMV’s operations after a third oil spill in the Maari field off the Taranaki coast” says Emily Bailey, member of Climate Justice Taranaki.

“According to an OMV estimate, up to 300 litres of oil spilled into the sea on Friday 20 February. While company spin doctors will try and talk this down calling it ‘small’, the US EPA states that 300 litres of oil can contaminate 300 million litres of water, and this near a blue whale breeding ground and in the habitat of the critically endangered Maui’s dolphin.” Read the rest of this entry »


Media release: Taranaki’s first Oil/Gas marine consent – a death knell for marine mammals

14/07/2014

Maui Dolphin IWC protection mining Slooten OMV spill model map correctedAustrian oil giant OMV’s application to drill up to seven new wells from its Maari platform is the first oil/gas marine consent being processed by the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) under the EEZ and Continental Shelf Act.

“If approved, the operation will pave the way for more intensified oil and gas drilling offshore, jeopardising the already perilous existence of many of New Zealand’s marine mammals and seabirds”, said Catherine Cheung, Climate Justice Taranaki. Read the rest of this entry »


EPA info session re OMV Maari application, Taranaki – Thur 10 July

08/07/2014
OMV New Zealand Ltd has been drilling in the Maari field 80km off South Taranaki. With the ceasing of the EEZ transitional provisions on 28 June 2014, a marine consent is required for the company to continue drilling past this date. The development drilling will involve drilling up to seven development wells. The EPA info session will cover the marine consent application, submission and hearing process. Meeting and submission details here.

Read the rest of this entry »


Media Highlights: 9-30 June 2014

09/06/2014

Banners against drilling in Maui’s habitat  (NZ Herald, 28 June)

Govt to look into stock on landfarms  (Radio NZ, 27 June) – CJT mentioned

Govt opens Maui’s dolphin area for oil drilling  (TV 3News, 17 June)

Oil discovered near Greymouth  (TV One News, 14 June)

Any climate change deal now too late for Kiribati – President Tong  (Radio NZ, 11 June)

Norwegian oil giant eyes Northland coast (NZ Herald, 9 June)