We are the People Power


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Last month, Māori leader Mike Smith started legal proceedings in the International Criminal Court (ICC) against Rainer Seele, the CEO of Austrian oil giant OMV, for trial for genocide and other climate crimes against indigenous communities. OMV is one of just 100 companies that have contributed to over 70% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions since 1988.

Greenpeace is inviting everyone to a 3 day action outside OMV office in New Plymouth. Come along and be part of people power!  Here’s their invitation:

Join us in New Plymouth from the 2nd – 4th December to disrupt business as usual for Austrian oil giant OMV.

While the Government has banned all new offshore oil and gas exploration permits, OMV is determined to drill for oil off Aotearoa’s coasts using permits it received before the ban.  OMV’s relentless search for new oil is throwing fuel on the fire that is the climate crisis, and it’s putting marine animals like blue whales, Hector’s dolphins and yellow-eyed penguins at risk.

There are roles for everyone, from rule-breakers to cake-bakers. Join us just for a day or for longer.”  Register on facebook here or simply show up, anytime 8am-5pm Mon-Wed, 2nd – 4th December, at 167 Devon Street West, New Plymouth.

Some more background info:

In September last year, our group spoke at the EPA hearing to point out the absurdity of OMV’s application for a discharge consent over a supposedly ‘cupful’ of harmful substances, associated with their plan to drill 12 exploratory/appraisal wells across 6 licensed area in the Taranaki Basin.  EPA granted OMV the consent soon after the hearing and the last of all other needed discharge consents that did not involve public hearing last month.  Likewise, EPA granted a similar discharge consent this September for OMV’s drilling campaign in the Great South Basin, despite widespread public outcry in Dunedin and elsewhere in Aotearoa.

Meanwhile, other oil companies like Tamarind Taranaki are going broke, threatening jobs and potentially evading responsibility and $155 million cost for decommissioning the offshore Tui and other oil/gas field infrastructure. Just this week, Tamarind has been instructed by EPA to stop producing from its Tui oil field until the source of the Monday oil sheen is conclusively identified and integrity of the wells assured. The environmental risks and costs will be left to us as companies of this dying industry retreats. We will not accept any government bail out to such companies for their failed obligations.

Onshore, more than 100 abandoned oil and gas wells have not been shut down properly over the past 150 years, six of which has been rated as ‘priority’ with the potential to leak and another eight with inadequate data for proper risk assessment. Currently landowners are liable if anything goes wrong with these so-called orphaned wells. Clearly fossil fuel companies should not be trusted. The boom-bust cycle they create cause far more social and environmental harm than the few unsustainable jobs and meager sponsorships they hand out.

Humanity is risking tipping points that would unleash  abrupt and irreversible climate catastrophes, sea level rise and ecosystem collapse. Surely this demands action and system change at all levels: social, political and economic.


MEDIA RELEASE: Taranaki joins climate rebellion


Members of community groups Extinction Rebellion Taranaki, Climate Justice Taranaki and Taranaki youth representatives are in Wellington to support the blockade of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE), NZ’s ministry for oil, gas and minerals.“We are in Wellington with people from across Aotearoa with whom we share a concern about the current climate emergency. We are outside MBIE to demand an immediate halt to further oil and gas exploration permits being handed out to companies” says Tony Hansen from Extinction Rebellion Taranaki.

“We want a future where all life thrives yet MBIE is encouraging the burning of fossil fuels that are pushing us towards mass extinction.”

“We need radical and systematic change with a just transition that puts the interests of communities, workers and the environment at its centre. Companies like OMV, Todd, Tamarind, Fonterra, Ravensdown and Fletchers have done enough damage” says Emily Bailey from Climate Justice Taranaki.

“We need to see that the capitalist economic system created this climate crisis because profit only comes from exploiting workers and the environment. It’s time for system change.”

“Last week, Taranaki youth participated in the third global climate strike. Now we are in Wellington to support the call for urgent climate action. We’ve had enough empty promises” says Taranaki student Ethan Griffiths.

Press release: EPA denies Climate Justice Official Information Request


Tamarind Umuroa Tui field Energyglobalnews

Climate Justice Taranaki has been denied information regarding legal advice sought by the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA). The advice concerned processing of OMV’s consent applications for its oil drilling programme in the Taranaki Basin.

“At the EPA hearing on OMV’s marine discharge consent application in September, we argued that the application should be jointly processed with all other applications associated with the drilling programme. We asked that legal advice be sought on this matter. Subsequent to the granting of the consent on the 4th October, we wrote to EPA, requesting clarifications and documents relating to any legal advice that EPA might have received. A month later, EPA replied, confirming that there had been legal advice but the relevant documents would be withheld ‘in order to maintain legal professional privilege’. We feel this is not natural justice,” said Catherine Cheung, Researcher of Climate Justice Taranaki.

Tomorrow we will be holding a protest at the Quality Hotel Plymouth International where EPA will hear Tamarind Taranaki Limited’s drilling and discharge consent applications. While Tamarind’s proposed activities are publicly notified, OMV’s application to drill 12 new exploratory/appraisal wells across six licensed areas in the Taranaki Basin is non-notified. According to the Crown Minerals Act, if OMV finds any viable oil and gas, mining licenses spanning decades will be granted. All this is allowed to happen behind closed doors. What about transparency and democracy?” asked Cheung.

“A vast majority of the 6539 submitters on the Crown Minerals Amendment Bill supports the Bill and wants it strengthened, by putting an end to all new and existing oil and gas exploration and mining, on and offshore. The overriding message is loud and clear: Real action to cut greenhouse gas emissions is long overdue.  Time is running out.  We cannot say that climate change is our nuclear free moment while allowing companies to extract more fossil fuels. Climate inaction is not only costly, but constitutes moral negligence,” added Cheung.

“The legislation is full of loop-holes and biased in favour of the industry.  The EEZ Act explicitly excludes consideration of emissions on climate change.  This is crazy, at a time when climate disruptions are threatening our very existence.  We challenge the EPA over its petroleum consenting process which appears to be little more than a tick box exercise,” said Emily Bailey, Spokesperson of Climate Justice Taranaki.

“Fossil fuel companies have no social license to operate here or anywhere.  They are recalcitrant climate polluters, wrecking our life support system.  They cause havoc in rural farming communities, drive social inequality and damage our local environments. They even fuel conflicts and wars.  We want them gone,” concluded Bailey.­

Photo source: Global Energy News

Download slides presented by Dr L DeVantier and CJT at the EPA Tamarind hearing.


Activists oppose Tui oil field expansion with toasts and song, ShareChat, 8/11/18

Proposed development would extend life of Tui oil field operator, RNZ, 6/11/18

MEDIA RELEASE: Taranaki climate defenders challenge oil companies at sea


The Rainbow Warrior continues its journey off the Taranaki coast today carrying crew from 11 nations and Taranaki kuia Kura Niwa from Pukerangiora Hapū and Agnes Wharehoka from Parihaka alongside Emily Bailey from Climate Justice Taranaki. The Greenpeace flagship made a surprise trip to Taranaki to show the world that despite a promise to ban new offshore exploration permits, much drilling is still to happen with over 30 new wells on the cards, and with toxic wastes going overboard. Read the rest of this entry »

MEDIA RELEASE: Rainbow Warrior en route to Taranaki oil and gas rigs


Climate Justice Taranaki has added a member of their team to the Greenpeace Rainbow Warrior crew this week as they head around Taranaki to take a closer look at the oil and gas rigs offshore. Emily Bailey is joined by two Taranaki kuia: Agnes Wharehoka from Parihaka and Kura Niwa from Pukerangiora Hapū. Read the rest of this entry »

Press release: Big Taranaki climate polluters to be named and shamed



Despite the government’s recent announcement for no new offshore petroleum permits, existing permit holders continue to drill on and offshore, and new permits may be issued onshore in Taranaki.  Climate Justice Taranaki spokesperson Emily Bailey says “Enough is enough. We are now launching a new campaign to out these big companies who are profiting from wrecking our planet and putting our children’s very future at risk.” First to be protested will be Austrian company OMV on 4-5th September in New Plymouth. Read the rest of this entry »

Press release: OMV plans to drill 12 offshore wells non-notified


OMV drilling map in discharge consent IA 2018

Climate Justice Taranaki wants the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) to hold public hearings on OMV’s exploratory drilling consent application and jointly process it with all related applications. Read the rest of this entry »