by Gareth Hughes
Green Party Councillor Paul Bruce has put fracking on the Greater Wellington Regional Council’s agenda, and it will be interesting to see if they will continue the momentum seen in other councils in New Zealand questioning or calling for a halt on fracking.
In the last six months we have seen Christchurch City declare itself frack-free along with resolutions passed by Hawke’s Bay Regional Council, Kaikōura District Council, Hastings District Council and others. I think we are seeing something akin to Nuclear-Free New Zealand, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. Then, as is the case with fracking now, with a Government refusing to act despite huge legitimate concerns, it was our towns and cities that acted.
Councillor Bruce says “We can’t keep our heads in the sand over fracking anymore…I’m urging Wellington take a precautionary approach to this controversial drilling method.”
I’ll be submitting to the Council to support the motion and if you’d like to join me, get in touch.
On the 13th June Greater Wellington Regional Council will consider his agenda item which is below:
Agenda item – Restrictions on Hydraulic fracturing
- Notes that preliminary work by the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment has resulted in a decision to examine more closely hydraulic fracturing issues.
- Accepts that information on risks to the Environment and people of hydraulic fracturing in NZ remains unclear.
- Expresses concern that Resource Consent applications for oil or gas hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) exploratory or production wells received by GW are likely to suffer delays until sufficient information on environmental effects can be obtained.
- Directs Te Upoko Taiao – Natural Resource Management Committee to develop policy on oil or gas hydraulic fracturing exploratory or production wells drilling as part of the single Regional Plan.
- Agrees that the investigation into those risks being conducted by the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment should be completed before there is any consideration of the use of hydraulic fracturing in the greater Wellington region.