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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What has climate change got to do with Anthrax, human rights or New Zealand?

03/08/2016
Yamal herders crater Philippines Haiyan Urenui erosion combined

Photo credits below

Who would have thought climate change could have brought on an anthrax outbreak? Yet that’s exactly what’s happened. This week, a young boy in the Yamal Peninsula of Russia died and many herders were sent for hospital checks, the culprit being that an anthrax outbreak broke loose from the thawing of an infected reindeer (or possibly human) corpse. Read the rest of this entry »


Stat Oil Secret Meetings with Iwi Exposed

27/08/2015

Stop Statoil

Norwegian oil company has been meeting secretly with hapu leaders, as part of their divide-and-conquer strategy, despite Norwegian government’s strict rules on indigenous engagement. Greenpeace campaigner Mike Smith explained,  “You don’t go consulting with iwi by going around picking off individuals, meeting with them on the quiet, that’s not how we do it! … They are desperate to get social license signed off from the people up north…”    Read the rest of this entry »


Bad news: 17-31 December 2014

22/12/2014

EPA granted marine consent to OMV for it’s development drilling at Maari oil field (EPA website) – submitters have until 28 Jan to file an appeal – CJT’s earlier posting on the OMV application here. And there are other oppositions, listen to Angeline Greensill speaking on Nga Hapu o te Uru customary fishing forum’s objection to EPA’s decision and OMV’s non-compliance under the EEZ Act (Radio NZ, 23 Dec)

Families forced to flee their homes from out-of-control leak at fracking well (EcoWatch, 17 Dec) – in Ohio, USA


Media highlights: November 2014

12/11/2014

Council fined $115k over Eltham stink (Radio NZ, 24 Nov) – An example of just how closely linked industrial farming and the fossil fuel industry are, and the huge waste issues involved…

Rivals at odds over oil, gas potential (TDN, 24 Nov) – EPMU Taranaki organiser Ross Henderson said drilling wasn’t going to improve the job situation; oil companies had to find something.  The next 12 months were going to be tough and whether people would still have their jobs at the end of the year remained to be seen, he said. “The exploration programme is hit or miss.”

More seabed opened up for drilling  (Northland Age, 18 Nov) Mayor puts lid on fears of oil spills off Tararua  (Manuwatu Standard, 17 Nov) – Details on Petroleum Block Offers 2015 Consultation on NZPAM website Read the rest of this entry »


CJT asks EPA to decline OMV’s marine consent applicaion

06/11/2014

CJT Cumulative effects 50km radius v1 5Nov2014

 

The Environment Protection Authority came to Taranaki today to listen to community voices opposed to OMV’s marine consent application to drill seven new wells in its Maari oil field. Several Climate Justice Taranaki members addressed the five-person strong Decision Making Committee.  Urs Signer made quite an impression by pulling out the “elephant in the room” – climate change while Catherine Cheung went into the detailed reasoning for our opposition, notably the threats to the Maui’s Dolphin and cumulative effects. Here is her written statement.

The hearing started at 9.30am and finished at about 1pm. A full transcript should be available in coming days on the EPA
website.

Media coverage:  Consent opponents condemn toxic waste  (TDN, 7 Nov 2014)


Prosecute Shell for drilling illegally off Taranaki

25/10/2014

What shocking news!  Oil giant Shell has been caught drilling two wells offshore without a marine consent, blatantly breaching NZ’s EEZ Act! Read the rest of this entry »