Council vote on deep-sea drilling

  • 25/10/2015
Council vote on deep-sea drilling

A decision on whether deep-sea drilling should take place off Auckland's west coast will be one step closer this week.

Councils throughout the country have been responding to the Government's 2016 offer of granting deep-sea drilling permits, and Auckland Council is to decide this Thursday after being divided on the idea for a year.

A big turnout is expected at the town hall, with the vote focussing on what oil and gas reserves are available.

In the previous decision made in February last year, the Council was split and a casting vote by regional strategy and policy committee chairman George Wood was used to win council support.

This time 21 councillors from the council's governing body committee will vote.

Councillor Chris Darby told NZ Herald that we need to stop relying on fossil fuels and start investing in long-term solutions.

However Councillor Bill Cashmore believes it would not be dangerous because any offshore oil would have to be sucked out, and wouldn't spray.

Christchurch City Council has already expressed opposition to the New Zealand Petroleum and Minerals Government agency.

Mayor Len Brown will give the casting vote, and the NZ Herald reports he is concerned for the protection of Maui dolphin species in the Kaipara Harbour, which holds around 95 percent of West Coast snapper stock, shellfish gathering and recreational assets of our beaches.

Steve Abel from Greenpeace said more than 8500 members of the public had emailed Brown urging him against oil and gas exploration.

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