Greenpeace delivers anti-drilling petition
Tue, 24 Jul 2012 2:17p.m.
By Lloyd Burr
It was a familiar scene outside Parliament today as the latest petition against the Government arrived with its entourage.
Greenpeace and a number of environmental groups carried around 30 boxes holding more than 140,000 signatures which, when stacked, spelt out why they were there and what they wanted.
The petition asks the Government to halt the expansion of coal mining and deep sea drilling, planned for a number of sites around the country.
Greenpeace’s Simon Boxer says fossil fuel extraction should play no significant part in the future of the economy and the Government needs to change its tack.
“At the moment they believe having a fossil fuel agenda is the answer to our economic problem when in fact it will do more harm than good,” he says.
Green Party MP Gareth Hughes was also on site and says the petition indicates to the Government that a clean energy economy is what New Zealanders want.
“This is a sizeable petition, one of the largest we’ve seen in recent years at Parliament so one can only hope the Government listens.”
Mr Boxer says the Government is already taking note.
“I believe the Government is listening, they may not want to say it publically but we know behind the scenes, they really have been caught out. I would say that across the board, there is so much pressure that change is inevitable,” he says.
But when questioned in the House by Mr Hughes, Energy Minister Phil Heatley showed no signs there would be a change.
“Will he listen to the more than 140,000 New Zealanders who signed Greenpeace’s petition calling on him to prohibit deep sea oil drilling and the experts around the world saying a relief rig is the only way to stop a deep sea blow out?,” Mr Hughes asked.
“Speaker, I disagree with what the member is implying,” Mr Heatley replied, adding it was the last Labour Government, with the Greens in tow, who approved one of the deep-sea drilling sites.
“We thank Labour and the Greens for their foresight,” he says.
Outside the debating chamber, he again brushed off the significance of the petition.
“Greenpeace run these petitions from time to time about all sorts of issues, they don't hold particular weight with me but I do have some understanding of what New Zealand's concerns (could) be,” Mr Heatley told New Zealand Newswire.
Watch the video for a montage of the petition arriving at Parliament.
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26/07/2012 8:23:35 a.m.
BETTER ALTERNATIVES wrote:
good on these guys, we have far better alternatives and for the cost of expansion of fossil fuels when can create far more jobs and economy from clean tech (wind, tidal wave, bio fuels etc).
We all want progress, fossil fuels is NOT progress, in fact quite the opposite
24/07/2012 11:18:33 p.m.
not a greenie but... wrote:
The problem is not whether or not to drill. The problem is this govt's arrogant attitude towards people's genuine concerns. Everyone is being told that they need to be more conscious of the environment, and yet this govt's way to prosperity is to go and drill and mine those very substances that are most damaging to the environment... and do so in risky and ecologically very sensitive locations. The onus is on the govt to demonstrate that it has the knowledge and technology to do things in a clean green way... but instead this govt is just intent on rubbishing anyone who dares to raise objections to it.
24/07/2012 7:08:43 p.m.
Yes what joke - it was the last Labour Government, with the Greens who approved one of the deep-sea drilling sites. EW have had oil drilling for 40 years approved both by Labour and National. We need to develpe the ecomomy just like Oz. The hypocrisy of the left makes me sick.
24/07/2012 6:57:22 p.m.
No Alternative wrote:
I wish it were that easy to just abandon fossil fuels in favour of clean energy but theres just no cost effective alternative, not every new zealander has $50,000 for a electric car or hybrid let alone the uses of petroleum products for example plastic, car tires etc etc
24/07/2012 6:32:35 p.m.
Price at the pump wrote:
This is such backwards thinking from the greens, yes it might not create much jobs or national profit but you know what its DAMN sure to lower prices at the pump!! and make living just that little bit more affordable.
I am so sick and tired of hearing these green tree hugging people go on and on about about the enviromental risks and new zealands green image but risks must taken for economic gain to be achieved so they say NO to mining, they say NO to oil drilling they basically say NO to progress as a whole because, i suspect its all just preservaton of the status quo they've built over the decades.
I support oil drilling 100% because the fact of the matter is the world we live in is a resource / commodity based world and nobody not even the greens can deny this fundamental truth.
24/07/2012 6:24:38 p.m.
It should be called the "anti-jobs petition". The Greens don't live in the real world...........and they have no constituency seats !
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