I had a bit of fun this week in the House, asking questions of the Acting Minister for Energy and Resources about some of the safety issues involved in offshore drilling in the Raukumara Basin off the East Coast.
The fun came in watching the Minister try desperately to avoid giving a straight answer, which was understandable given that the honest and open response would have been along the lines of: “We don’t have a plan to minimise risks; there is no way that a leak caused by an accident could be plugged within any reasonable time; we are so desperate to pursue this chimera of economic growth based on extraction that we will just gamble that nothing is going to go wrong!”
So the ‘fun’ obviously was tempered by the very serious concerns of those who know what is at stake here environmentally, culturally and economically. Even Petrobras accept that there can be no guarantee of safety, as seen in this quote from Marco Toledo, Petrobras head of operations New Zealand: “Guarantee (of safety) is not a word that exists in our industry”.
We have been doing what we can in Parliament to challenge the folly of endangering our beautiful whenua and moana for illusory economic gains. We acknowledge our allies in this, the iwi and hapu of Te Tai Rawhiti and elsewhere who are standing in opposition, and of course Greenpeace and those who are taking direct action out on the water.
There will be a day of action on April 20th, so keep an eye on www.extractionaction.com for an event that you might want to get along and support!