National's failure to consult is undemocratic | The Jackal

30 Apr 2012

National's failure to consult is undemocratic

Deepwater Horizon disaster in 1500 metres of water
Today, TVNZ reported:

Drilling of deep-sea oil wells off Wellington's southeast coast is poised to go ahead with little consultation, despite concerns over the potential for environmental disaster.

The Government is close to calling for competitive tenders for oil and gas exploration in 25 blocks, including 14 offshore, nationwide.

Environmentalists and local politicians are outraged they were not consulted about two blocks in the Pegasus Basin, south of Wairarapa.

Exploration permits would allow for deep-sea drilling of up to 2750 metres in places - Deepwater Horizon in the Gulf of Mexico was 1500 metres and the deepest well off the Taranaki coast was 120 metres.

Neither Wellington City Council nor Greater Wellington regional council were consulted and no public meetings were held or advocate groups spoken to. Iwi groups, however, were consulted.

The consultation with Iwi groups could be described as light at best.

The problem is that National is hell bent on increasing our reliance on and manufacture of fossil fuels despite the inherent dangers of deep sea extraction and little economical benefit for New Zealand. They've obviously not considered the cost of climate change (PDF) to our primary production and GDP either.

Instead, National are ramming through as many permits as they can without letting the public know. That's not how a democratic nation should operate.... but unfortunately for New Zealand, democracy is the last thing on the John Keys mind at the moment.