Canadian oil companies Apache Corporation and TAG Oil have formed a partnership to explore for minerals in Porangahau. Without public consultation, the government issued a permit allowing these companies to conduct seismic surveys in the area. If consent is given by the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council, these companies will have clearance to “frack” in the area.
Fracking (hydraulic fracturing) is the process of pumping high pressured water and chemicals into the ground to fracture the rock beneath, releasing oil or gas. If commercial quantities of oil are found there is a strong possibility that the area will be mined.
The process of fracking has been linked to environmental issues overseas, including groundwater pollution and the increased frequency of earthquakes. Apart from the ecological damage this would have on the area, it is important that Hawke’s Bay, as a food-producing region, does not have its water sources polluted.
Councillor Liz Remmerswaal has submitted a motion asking the council to give an assurance that all consents are publicly notified, and include the type and volume of chemicals used in each operation.
Forest & Bird, along with many members of the Hawke’s Bay region public are strongly opposed to fracking in Poranghau. A Don’t Frack the Bay petition is currently being circulated.
The petition asks that "Hawke's Bay Regional Council agree to make fracking for petroleum (oil & gas) a prohibited activity in the Hawke's Bay Region, until the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment reports to Parliament the findings of an inquiry into the practice of hydraulic fracturing in New Zealand."
We urge you to sign the petition against fracking to help protect the Hawke’s Bay area from being unnecessarily damaged.