Multinational oil and gas giant Schlumberger has started a huge 3D-seismic survey off the Taranaki coast. The ‘Amazon Warrior’ ship returned to Aotearoa after being chased away from the East Coast. Drilling in a known whale feeding and nursing ground? We don’t think so! More emissions while the climate is changing? We don’t think so! Risking further oil spills on our pristine coast? We don’t think so! Read the rest of this entry »
Groups campaigning on climate change, fracking, oil and gas drilling and social justice from across Aotearoa have announced plans to disrupt the New Zealand Petroleum Conference in March this year.
The People’s Climate Rally is being organised by a coalition of groups including Climate Justice Taranaki, Frack Free, Oil Free Wellington, Greenpeace New Zealand and 350 Aotearoa.
The three-day event, from March 21 to 23, will include peaceful protest, workshops, and music for people of all ages that promotes a world without fossil fuels in order to curb the looming climate catastrophe.
The target is the NZ Petroleum Conference, held over the same time in New Plymouth, which will see hundreds of delegates from oil and gas companies meet to discuss oil exploration opportunities in New Zealand.
Sponsored by government agency NZ Petroleum & Minerals (NZPAM), the annual conference is also attended by domestic decision makers including the Minister of Energy and Resources, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, Taranaki Regional Council, and NIWA.
Previously held in Auckland and Wellington, the petroleum conference has been met by mass peaceful protest since 2012. This has included hīkoi and marches of more than 5,000 people. Last year, a blockade outside Auckland’s SkyCity delayed the start of the conference by several hours.
The conference has now been moved to New Plymouth for 2017. Taranaki has been the centre of the New Zealand oil industry for 100 years.
Spokesperson for Climate Justice Taranaki, Emily Bailey, says the oil industry and the Government have continued to exploit oil and gas and ignore local community concerns about its environmental and human costs.
“The oil and gas industry have been making a retreat this year, pulling out of permits and cutting investments,” she says.
“Now they’re moving from Auckland to hold their annual conference in what can only be seen as a retreat to ‘safe territory’, but we are stepping things up to tell them it’s time to stop the drilling and ensure a future without runaway climate change.”
New Zealand needs a rapid investment in a just transition away from these dirty fuels and into climate-friendly jobs, Bailey says.
The coalition will be developing The People’s Climate Rally over the coming weeks. Kicking off just days after Taranaki music festival, WOMAD, the group is encouraging festival goers to stay on afterwards to take part in the protest.
350 Aotearoa spokesperson, Niamh O’flynn, says the petroleum conference “flies in the face” of what is right for people and the planet.
“These companies and our Government are acting like drilling for more oil and gas has no consequences. We know that they do, and it’s climate change,” she says.
“When our farmers are struggling through drought, our snowfields are without snow, and our sea-levels are rising, it’s our responsibility to stand-up to the Government and the fossil fuel industry that are ignoring reality and willfully wrecking our climate.”
So lock those dates 21-23 March in, and share your interest & ideas on facebook
The New Zealand government has just proposed to release half a million square kilometres of our land and sea to petroleum exploration.
The Taranaki Basin offer encompassed a third of the West Coast Marine Mammal Sanctuary, designated for the protection of the nearly extinct Maui’s Dolphin. The government says “this has been re-introduced due to commercial interest in the area”.
So rather than upholding New Zealand’s international obligation to protect endangered species and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, the government does what corporations want – “providing a stable and predictable regime”. Read the rest of this entry »
In the proposed South Taranaki District Plan, landfarming, the practice of spreading oil/gas wastes on farmlands, is a Permitted activity in the Rural Zone.
Climate Justice Taranaki, and other submitters, are strongly opposed to this, stating that landfarming should not be Permitted in the Rural Zone or anywhere else, especially on food producing land and within the Coastal Protection Area or catchments of Significant Waterbodies and Wetlands. Read the rest of this entry »
Did you hear this? DOC (Department of Conservation) warns that the RMA changes may prevent them from doing their job We borrow one of our members’ submission on the Resource Resource Legislation Amendment Bill (RLAB), to explain why:
The Bill, written in its current form, is not fit for purpose other than to allow ‘development’ and other activities to go through with little if any safeguards for the environment and sustainability, to give the Minister power above local authorities, and to take away the basic democratic rights of the public. More specifically, I object to the following clauses or parts of the RLAB:
1. Clauses 11 and 12 which take away councils’ responsibilities over hazardous substances.
2. Clause 27 which allows a rule or resource consents to be more lenient than a national environmental standard (NES).
3. The entire concept and process of “fast-track application” and all the clauses that pertain to this, including but not limited to clauses 121, 125 and 151.
4. The use of the term “less than minor” in describing the adverse effects of an activity when assessing consent applications, without clearly defining it.
5. Clause 105 which introduces 360D to the RMA to give over-riding power to the Minister.
6. Clause 120 which gives a hearing authority the power to strike out submissions.
7. Clause 125 which further restricts the scope of ‘limited notification’, to the extent that even the Department of Conservation has warned that they would not be able to perform their statutory duties.
8. Clause 188 which introduces to the EEZ-Continental Shelf Act mandatory boards of inquiry appointed by the Minister, presumably with power over-riding that of the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA).
Climate Justice Taranaki’s submission explains the above in detail and proposes new clauses that would strengthen rather than weaken the current legislation, notably including the consideration of climate change in consent applications.
Submission closes today 5pm 14 March 2016 on Parliament website.
The Taranaki Regional Council has spent $270,000 to pursue a debt of $25,000 from three dedicated environmentalists who have long been fighting for the health of the Waitara River. What got them into trouble was taking a stand for the environment by asking the Council for an independent hearing over an application for wastewater discharge into the sea. Having lost their High Court appeal, the three are ordered to pay for the hearing and court costs plus interest. Despite having paid off over half of the ‘debt’, Council is threatening them with bankruptcy, to avoid future precedent.
Taranaki resident Jeanette Wilson is deeply upset about the way Shell Todd Oil Services (STOS) has proceeded with their seismic surveys across much of south Taranaki, in search for more oil and gas. According to the Crown Minerals Act section 53(2) companies must obtained written consent from “each owner and occupier of the land” before they could prospect, explore or mine on the land. Yet STOS had never sought Jeanette’s consent, having gotten her husband to sign. Read the rest of this entry »