October 22, 2013
Iwi ignored in Taranaki drill plan
The Department of Conservation, which is facing a storm for diluting its reponse to a major Hawkes Bay water project, as now under fire for smoothing the way for oil and gas exploration on the slopes of Mount Taranaki.
Tag Oil is before Stratford District Council commissioners this week seeing consent to drill just 200 metres from the Taranaki National Park.
Daisy Noble from Nga Hapu o Ngaruahine says her South Taranaki iwi is objecting, and it's upset DoC failed to consult iwi about its response.
She says the department seemed concerned about what might happen to walking tracks and wildlife like kiwi, rather than what is going on under ground.
"Once that drill goes in under the earth none of us know what the hell's going to happen to it. We don't know whether it's going to be through directional drilling. This application says there is no provision for fracturing, how do we know that this isn't going to happen in the future because the consent is to allow a further seven wells. Is there going to be enough space on that whenua to allow another seven or is it going to end up right beside the treeline of our maunga? One bad enough. Eight, forget it," she says.
Mrs Noble says the eight Taranaki iwi are due to go into settlement negotiations next year on future management of the mountain, but there seems little point if government agencies aren't willing to do their jobs properly.
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