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At a recent ECO gathering of environment and conservation groups in Taranaki, Otaraua Hapu’s chair Rawiri Doorbar spoke of the hapu's four month blockade which stopped Greymouth Petroleum from desecrating their pa. Mr Doorbar's strong message for hapu and landowners is "Stop it [the industry] before it gets in the gate!" To listen to his speech at Tikorangi Pa, click below:
Recording courtesy of Devi Lockwood.
Right after Christmas, local photographer Fiona Clark captured this horrific image of a huge flare bellowing black smoke from Todd Energy's Mangahewa-E wellsite across to its neighbours in Tikorangi. The toxic flare was still burning on New Year's Day! The site has consent for up to 8 wells. Clark says four wells have been drilled and are being fracked right now.
Just last month, the NZ government issued another 15 new permits for oil and gas exploration. Three of the onshore permits are located in Taranaki (see map above). Permit 57065 encompasses Inglewood township and 57063 lies just east of Urenui. Both will be operated by Canadian company Tag Oil - the same company that's intending to drill just 600m from Norfolk school and responsible for months of illegal flaring at Ngaere two years ago. Permit 57076, just south of Todd's Mangahewa permit, is owned by Petrochem, a subsidiary of Greymouth Petroleum.
So landowners living in Inglewood and areas within these new permits - watch out and gear up if you don't want your property and neighborhood to be poisoned by toxic flaring and contaminated water. Unite and lock your gates!
Residents concerned about the potential consequences of allowing fracking in the Tararua District packed the council chambers for a committee meeting on 14 Oct. They urged the Horizons Regional Council to consider what is best for the Manawatu environment and communities.
Read the story here.
Here're a few poignant quotes from the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment:
Read the full report here, noting the six recommendations.
There've been lots of sharp media coverage:
Report: Rules too loose to allow fracking (Stuff national)
Fracking regulations ‘inadequate’ – Commissioner (3News)
PCE says NZ reputation is at risk (Radio NZ)
Fracking report suggests councils change town plans (Radio NZ)
Commissioner recommends Govt regulations to minimise fracking risks (Maori TV)
Environment watchdog warns of fracking risks (TVNZ One News)
Many organisations want a fracking ban or an end to the fossil fuel industry altogether:
Greenpeace calls for an immediate ban on the fossil fuel industry in NZ (Media release)
Forest & Bird calls for a moratorium on new oil and gas exploration (Media release)
Climate Justice Taranaki wants no more new oil and gas permits and calls on landowners to 'lock their gate' (Media release)
Greens call for fracking moratorium (3 News)
This 40 minutes video "Fractured Country" documents the human and environmental costs of the vastly expanding coal seam gas industry across Australia, and the strong resistance that's building up across communities - the Lock the Gate movement.
Here in New Zealand, resistance is building too. And we need you to be part of it, whether you're living in Taranaki (Aotearoa's own gasland), the East Coast or other parts of the country where the oil and gas industry has only just begun its invasion. Write us a comment and we'll get in touch.
Together, we can Lock the Gate, transition off fossil fuels, build sustainable communities and a bright and just future for all!
Well, the PCE's interim report is out... and she still doesn't call for a moratorium - despite significant doubts over the practice of fracking in NZ.
So, that leaves it up to us... Here are some of our options: