Compulsory shipping lanes would help stop oil spills - Greens

Compulsory shipping lanes would help stop oil spills - Greens

More than 360 oil spills have happened in New Zealand waters since the 2011 Rena disaster, and the Green Party says more needs to be done to protect our beaches and marine environment.

The Greens propose compulsory shipping lanes similar to Norway and the UK as a way to reduce the risk of collision.

Green Party environment spokesperson Euginie Sage says the lanes would improve oil spill preparedness, hold those who spill oil financially accountable, and would stop the risk of deep sea oil drilling.

"Everyone on the water has a responsibility to take care and avoid making pollution, including recreational boaties. It's clear that the oil and commercial fishing industries in particular need to do much better," she says.

Ms Sage says boats have spilled nearly four tonnes of oil and fuel into New Zealand waters, and 363 spills have occurred in the last four years.

"It looks as if some regional councils respond more effectively than others when oil spills are reported, so the Ministry for the Environment needs to do its job and make sure all councils are up to scratch.

"Every New Zealander has a birth right to swim in clean water, lie on clean sand, and catch fish are safe to eat."

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