Fast-tracked oil consents bypass mayor, public

Just in case you still think you’re living in a Democracy!

Gisborne Council officials have already granted exploration consents to Canadian oil companies without seeking public approval – or consulting their own mayor.

The Sunday Star-Times revealed two weeks ago that a joint-venture between TAG Oil and Apache believed there was potential to build “thousands” of onshore wells on the East Coast of the North Island and pump “billions of barrels” of oil.

Documents written by TAG said the area was “literally leaking oil and gas”, and the joint venture was prepared to undertake an “aggressive East Coast Basin programme”.

A Gisborne District Council document, obtained by the Sunday Star-Times, reveals officials have allowed some of the exploration developments without giving the public opportunity to raise any objections.

“Resource consents have recently been issued for activities associated with drilling shallow shot holes and seismic testing,” the paper said. “The environmental impact of this is minimal, and the applications were not notified.”

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3 thoughts on “Fast-tracked oil consents bypass mayor, public

  1. The story can be reducted to this …”Council staff are set to be hosted on an all-expenses paid trip to North America by oil exploration officials, As opposition grows to the plan, oil exploration officials are set to host local body staff on a 10-day trip to Canada from February 3-13. Gisborne District councillor Manu Caddie said the delegation would be able to “set their own agenda”. “The risk is that TAG can trot out any number of experts to toe the TAG line.” “We need to remember that any opposition we have now may make us unpopular with some people but will mean we can look our grandchildren in the eyes when they ask what we did to ensure they inherited a livable planet and a healthy community.”

    That stance contradicted TAG’s written message to shareholders.

    “While oil companies always talk up their prospects,” Caddie said, “I think it says something about the integrity of the industry and the way they can manipulate both investors and communities involved with their activities.
    “They have committed to regular meetings with locals but they have also progressed their plans and started exploration before securing local support, which seems like a recipe for distrust and ongoing problems.” ”

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