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The public has the right to have a say before councils give companies the go ahead for any oil and gas exploration activities, the Green Party said today.
"An international corporation should not have been granted council permission to take the first steps towards oil and gas production on the East Coast without public input," said Green Party mining spokesperson Catherine Delahunty.
Ms Delahunty was responding to today's decision by Gisborne District Council to grant resource consents to TAG Oil and Apache Corporation to install an access track, a well conductor and water monitoring bore as well as flatten a well pad area at Kanakanaia, near Gisborne. The Council decided not to defer the decision until it received related applications for the exploratory drilling, and granted the application without public notification.
"The Council has gone against the wishes of locals and granted these consents without public input," said Ms Delahunty.
"This decision raises questions about whether the Council is looking after the interests of corporations above those of their own community."
On the 28th of June, Frack-Free Tairawhiti tabled a petition with 2000 signatures calling on Gisborne District Council to publicly notify any oil-and gas-related resource consents.
Ms Delahunty said the public was worried about the potential use of fracking in their area.
"Canadian company TAG Oil already has fracking operations in Taranaki and has indicated it may use fracking in its oil and gas operations on the East Coast as well," said Ms Delahunty.
"We need a moratorium on fracking until the technique is proven to be safe."