Minister Brownlee thinks he knows what is best for the East Coast and is using his powers to run roughshod over the people, the Green Party said today.
“Digging a hole on land requires public consultation, but offshore oil drilling is pretty much at the whim of the Minister”, Dr Kennedy Graham, Green Party Energy Spokesperson said.
The public have been denied a say in whether Petrobras can drill an exploratory oil well in the Raukumara Basin. Beaches across the Bay of Plenty and East Coast were set alight by peaceful protesters yesterday, who are calling on the Government for proper consultation.
“Having failed to make a case for expanded mining in our National Parks, the Minister is using his powers under the Crown Minerals Act to bypass any significant consultation with local iwi or the general public”, Dr Graham said.
“The Minister is convinced he knows what’s best for the local people and instead of asking them, he’s telling them.
“This is poor governance and the Green Party will fight for an honest and transparent process.
“Real democracy is a battle of ideas, not money; but right now only the money is talking and the Minister is not listening to the people.
“Before any deep water drilling takes place, we need a comprehensive risk assessment framework, with public buy-in that can only come from proper consultation.
“I commend the people of the East Coast for leading by example, standing up to John Key’s Government and insisting on their right to be heard”, Dr Graham said.