Green Party calls for fracking moratorium while investigation undertaken

Wednesday 28 March 2012, 2:05PM
By Green Party

The Green Party today welcomed the decision by the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment to undertake an investigation into fracking, and urged the Government to put in place a fracking moratorium until the results are released.

“We welcome the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment’s independent investigation into the risks of fracking in New Zealand, but until she can assure the public that it is safe, Government should implement a nationwide fracking moratorium,” said Green Party Energy spokesperson Gareth Hughes.

Fracking is the practice of pumping water, sand and chemicals at high pressure deep into the earth in order to extract oil and gas.

“Given numerous overseas studies which have linked fracking to drinking water contamination, human health problems and earthquakes, New Zealanders are rightly worried about the safety of fracking in New Zealand,” said Mr Hughes.

“Evidence from Taranaki backs up New Zealanders’ concern.

“A Shell Todd Oil report from 2011 found that discharge of fracking fluids in Taranaki resulted in groundwater contamination that was unsuitable for drinking or stock use, or for irrigation.

“New Zealanders are worried about new proposals for fracking in New Zealand, and as a result, pressure on Government for a nationwide moratorium has been growing.”

Four New Zealand councils have recently voted to call on Government to implement a nationwide moratorium.

“Growing concern over fracking in New Zealand mirrors growing international concern. Of the ten countries that have fracked, seven have adopted full country, state or region moratoriums in place and only New Zealand, China and Ireland have not,” said Mr Hughes.

“New Zealand doesn't need to resort to fracking when we have a wealth of smart green energy opportunities that will deliver real prosperity.

“For example, instead of selling off the best of our last remaining SOEs we can keep them and refocus their largely domestic operations towards booming renewable energy export markets abroad.”

For more information:

Gareth Hughes MP, 027 422 9290

Babs Lake, Political and Media Advisor, 027 329 6196