New Zealand Minister at Hawke’s Bay boasts of fracking ban

Minister boasts of fracking ban by Neil Reid, February 17, 2013,
Crown minister Chris Tremain has been accused of double standards for lobbying to ban oil and gas exploration in parts of his back yard. Tremain, the Minister of Internal Affairs, of Local Government and Associate Minister of Tourism, is a member of a government caucus that supports offering large blocks of New Zealand countryside for oil and gas exploration, including the use of the controversial fracking technique. But in a message to constituents in his Napier electorate, Tremain has written that exploration has been outlawed from geology around aquifers – or underground wet rock – in Hawke’s Bay. The water sources are crucial for the region’s horticulture and agriculture industries. … “In the case of the oil and gas industry, Craig Foss [National Party MP for Tukituki] and I have worked with the Minister of Energy to remove our Hawke’s Bay aquifers from exploration.” … He would not address why he made submissions to a fellow minister to “remove” exploration in parts of the Hawke’s Bay.

Green Party energy spokesman Gareth Hughes said it was pleasing to see Tremain sticking up for his local region but disappointing he was happy to see exploration – including fracking – being carried out in other parts of New Zealand. “The question is, if it is so safe why remove it [from Hawke’s Bay aquifers],” Hughes said. [Emphasis added]

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