Pegasus Basin block offer still raises concerns

Labour MPs in the Wellington region remain concerned about the possible environmental impacts of the permits awarded for exploration in the Pegasus Basin, announced today by the National-led Government.

Local MPs Grant Robertson, Trevor Mallard and Annette King said: “We continue to have concerns about whether there are sufficiently robust rules and standards in place for this kind of exploration and drilling. 

“The Exclusive Economic Zone legislation passed by the Government this year is weak and vague when it comes to protecting our environment. Much of the implementation of that legislation relies on regulations that have not even been finalised. 

“The Government has not even decided if exploration such as this will be a permitted activity and as such not even need a consent.

“These permits are for drilling to a depth that has not been contemplated before in New Zealand. This makes it all the more important that we move with caution and only when we have the appropriate regulations in place.

“Labour has made clear that we are not looking to ban exploration, but we only want it to go ahead when there are appropriate rules and safeguards to protect our environment.  We held a public meeting on this proposal earlier in the year, and the clear message we received there, and since, backs up our position.”

“Many people in the greater Wellington region feel that there has not been adequate consultation about this process. It will come as a surprise to many that off their coastlines exploration permits have been granted. The government must do better in keeping communities informed of these kinds of permits and take into account their views,” said Grant Robertson, Trevor Mallard and Annette King.