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Mining in New Zealand

Gareth Hughes MP
Gareth Hughes MP
gareth [dot] hughes [at] parliament [dot] govt [dot] nz (Email)

Mining our treasured places is not part of a clean, green economy.

The Green Party stands strong against fracking, deep sea oil drilling, and mining on our conservation estate.

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Fracking is the hydraulic fracturing of geological formations to release hydrocarbons. In other words, they shoot water and chemicals at high pressure into wells to crack the rock and get more oil and gas out. It's a technique used to extract 'unconventional' oil and gas, which until recently were deemed too expensive or difficult to extract.

Fracking has some very serious potential environmental impacts, of which groundwater contamination is the main problem. Groundwater contamination occurs because the hydraulic fluid used to fracture the rock contains toxic chemicals that can find their way into aquifers.

Also, the mobilisation of hydrocarbons can result in the release of various toxic naturally occurring chemicals that would otherwise be held in place. This is why there is a moratorium on fracking in many places around the world at the moment, including NSW, Quebec, parts of USA, and France.

Fracking has already happened in Taranaki and has been proposed for other parts of the country, including the East Coast and Canterbury.

It's not well regulated by the Government at the moment because Regional Councils (who have limited resources and expertise) are charged with granting resource consents.

Fracking shouldn't happen until we know more about it and have a proper regulatory regime in place.


Deep sea oil drilling

It is environmentally reckless to start a deep water oil drilling program in one of the most important ecological regions on the planet when the oil companies don't know how to plug deep water oil wells if anything goes wrong.

The Government is encouraging deep sea oil drilling by giving tax breaks and subsidies (free geotechnical information) to oil companies, and has already granted permits for deep sea oil exploration and drilling.

John Key's Government has failed to learn the lesson from the Deep Water Horizon spill.Even with the most advanced capabilities at your doorstep, a laissez-faire attitude is a recipe for disaster.

Read more about Deep Sea Oil Drilling.

Mining in national parks

In 2009, the National Goverment announced plans to take a 'stocktake' of the mineral wealth lying under Schedule 4 lands and waters, with a view to removing some sites from Schedule 4 and opening them up to mining. The Green Party campaigned against this proposal, and won. Read more about our victory

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