It is WOMAD weekend in New Plymouth again – a time to celebrate the World of Music, Arts and Dance, to promote cross-cultural awareness and tolerance. How wonderful!
There is just one problem, Shell and Todd Energy are two main sponsors of WOMAD in NZ.
The two companies, individually or jointly, have drilled and extracted oil and gas from numerous wells around Taranaki. To name a few, Todd Energy’s Mangahewa wellsites in Tikorangi have been drilled, redrilled, fracked, and fracked again recently. Shell Todd Oil Services (STOS) has been busy seismic blasting many farms in South Taranaki for months, in search of any remaining oil or gas in and around the Kapuni field. Last year Shell got another 35 year consent to continue its drilling, extracting and discharging wastes from the aging Maui gas field offshore. With the low oil prices, Shell is now reviewing its operations in NZ, despite its firm statement last year that it’s here for the long haul.
Some might ask: Could their sponsorships and Shell’s zero waste promotion at WOMAD be simply greenwashing opportunities for the companies, or an investment for their social license to continue operation here?
We say: Yes to sustainable festivals and climate justice, Yes to WOMAD, but NO to fossil fuel company sponsorships”!