Oil drilling in Maui’s Dolphin’s habitat

Written By: - Date published: 9:00 am, September 27th, 2015 - 65 comments
Categories: auckland supercity, C&R, Conservation, Environment - Tags:

Piha no oil sea drilling protest-19

Recent events have shown an unfortunate variation in the way that the Government handles issues concerning wildlife.  During this month it has expressed willingness to house a couple of pandas at great cost while at the same time it has shown disregard for the future of Maui’s Dolphin by again offering Auckland’s west coast up for potential oil drilling.

The cost of the two pandas, potentially the thick end of $100 million, is significant, probably comparable to the royalties the Government would receive if oil was discovered off the West Coast.  And you have to wonder if it is money well spent.  The Government in the past has said that Local Government should concentrate on core business.  It is hard to justify the spend unless core business includes not only roads, rates and rubbish but also housing cute animals that provide good photo opportunities.

There is great local concern at the opening up of the West Coast to potential oil drilling.  The area is the habitat for the remaining few Maui’s dolphin. The Government is consulting on areas to be released for the 2016 Block Offer and the Northland Reinga basin is again proposed as an area.  The area starts 12 nautical miles out from the coast.  Oil rigs this far out would be easily visible from the shore.

During the last Block Offer consultation Auckland Council voted on the form of its submission.  A resolution was proposed that Council opposed the allocation of petroleum exploration permits in the West Coast.  Unfortunately the resolution failed, just.  The vote was 9-9 and it took the casting vote of the chair George Wood to vote the resolution down.

Auckland Council Block offer resolution

I recently questioned Waitakere Ward councillor Linda Cooper on why she voted against the proposal.  She said that she thought there were better ways of expressing opposition to the drilling and also berated those of us who drive cars to Piha and then oppose drilling.

This was a somewhat unusual response.  I thought the best way to express opposition to drilling was to do exactly that.  And yes we all drive cars but climate change makes it extraordinarily important that we transition to a carbon neutral society as soon as possible. Drilling more oil wells will not achieve this.

The potential cost of the loss of Maui’s dolphins is immeasurable.  Mother Nature is the sum of a complex series of interactions between a huge number of species relating to earth sky and water and the removal of one species can have initially subtle but potentially and gradually profound effects on the environment.

And Maui’s dolphins are iconic as well as threatened. If we really are a clean green nation we should be doing everything possible to preserve them.

If you want to get involved Greenpeace is running this campaign to try and persuade Auckland Councillors to this time oppose the drilling off the west coast.  The Waitakere Ranges Local Board will be expressing its opposition.

Reprinted from Futurewest.wordpdress.com.

65 comments on “Oil drilling in Maui’s Dolphin’s habitat”

  1. Oil is currently @ around $47.00 a barrel i think?
    For anyone to contemplate drilling off the NZ coast oil would have to be at least $100.00 per barrel, currently no one can afford it. The govt would have to subsidize exploration to the tune of 100s of thousands a day, it will never happen.
    .
    If the protesting fools want to do something the reduce future human suffering they should protest outside the maternity wards.

    • Corokia 1.1

      Outside maternity wards being a bit late if your aim is to stop people breeding. Your claim that you want to reduce future human suffering is total lying shit Robert, because you have previously advocated guns on the beaches to stop climate change refugees.

      • weka 1.1.1

        Yep. More judgemental shit, hard to see any actual compassion there.

        • Robert Atack 1.1.1.1

          There is zero ‘compassion’ in nature.
          BUT I’m showing more ‘compassion’ for the new born than their dumb shit parents that is for sure.


          Mother Nature, Mother Nature, she’s gonna getcha
          Yeah she’s gonna getcha

          Mother Nature, she’s grown to hate’cha and she’s gonna get’cha
          Gonna get’cha ya bet’cha

          She bats last and she’s comin’ out swingin’
          She bats last and she’s just about taken
          All that she can take

          Now it’s payback time Mother (Nature) fuckers
          It’s payback time

          Spoken word: Guy McPherson (guymcpherson.com)

          She bats last and she’s comin’ out swingin’
          She bats last and she’s just about taken
          All that she can take

          And it’s payback time Mother (Nature) fuckers
          It’s payback time

          For the strip-mined land, for the poisoned seas
          For the acid rain, for another dead species
          For GMO, for uranium ore
          For screwing your kids for a few dollars more

          Now it’s payback time Mother (Nature) fuckers
          It’s payback time

          “The living planet is about to make a comeback, and that’s really, really good news”

          • weka 1.1.1.1.1

            I know you are in a lot of pain Robert, but I don’t think your judgements count as compassion.

            I see compassion in nature, but rather than that I’ll just note the irony of you claiming there is no compassion in nature and then quoting fanatics who’ve taken anthropomorphising to the extreme.

            • Robert Atack 1.1.1.1.1.1

              I’m not in any pain?
              I’m just having fun m8
              I would like to mould myself more on George Carlin than say Derick Jensen or Guy McPherson

              I just like to put stuff on the record, ego thing I know, but I did tell ya so 😉

              • weka

                I don’t believe you. I don’t think it’s possible to be aware of our situation and not feel pain. Unless one is a sociopath and I wouldn’t have picked you as that.

      • Robert Atack 1.1.2

        Hmmm ?? lying shit ? are we aloud to abuse each other like that?
        I’m not sure where the lie is Crok ?? I mean I’m not protesting, I’m not trying to ‘save’ any shit, full stop, I know everything is fucked, it doesn’t matter if we dig up all the oil and float it across the global oceans, covering every beach with large black globs of oil, it doesn’t matter if we add another 3 billion people to the planet (if we had time), nothing matters. 400 ppm CO2 = extinction for most living things on this rock, and 400 ppm CO2 + all the ice trapped methane = temperatures that may not have been seen on the planet for billions of years.
        All I’m saying is the dumb fools out there protesting are just pissing into the wind, and all they are going to get for their efforts are wet pants.
        I’m just pointing this out to you, by having a vasectomy I’ve done all I can to reduce future suffering, not only for the schmuck I might have produced, but more importantly on a personal basses I will not have to go through the anguish of watching my child suffer.
        All I’m saying is if these protesting ignorant fools did just a little bit of home work, they will work it out as well – this system has killed us, we are all dead, we just haven’t fallen over yet )
        http://guymcpherson.com/2014/01/climate-change-summary-and-update/ warning you will need brain cells to understand this information, it is to much information for jelly fish, politicians, or anal bacteria, and lets face it – Kiwi Savers and voters, especially the green ones.
        Now piss off do your home work, and when you have a little bit more understanding of our true situation come back to me with something intelligent.

        • Paul 1.1.2.1

          Your bleak outlook may be correct, but your dismissive and insensitive comments are not helpful.
          I don’t get why you are particularly aggressive to green voters.
          They do care about the environment.
          Why don’t you focus your energies on the worst polluters?
          I am somewhat cynical about your approach. By declaring everything is doomed, you say we can dig up the oil and nothing will change.
          I sense you protesteth too much.

          • Robert Atack 1.1.2.1.1

            The green voters are encouraged to support this system via Kiwi Saver. And their Kiwi Saver sponsoring green politicians are 100% fine with continued growth and investment in pollution,arms dealers etc.

            • Paul 1.1.2.1.1.1

              And so you attack these people in a vitriolic manner.
              And yet I don’t hear you attack the polluters, the drillers, and large corporations.
              Wonder why.

              • Read what I’m saying Paul, the polluters, the drillers, and large corporations, are only pandering to the growth that Kiwi Saver, and this system needs to survive, they are doing their best to keep all 7 billion of us alive, If you think protesting is going to do something, then I guess you will be switching your power supply off, and putting you car on blocks, that’s if you want to show leadership and compassion.
                I’m just pointing out (again) there is no point in attacking anyone, except the lying bastards that make out there is a point, because they are speaking from self imposed ignorance.
                Like you, politicians of every color DO NOT WANT THE TRUTH.
                And I’m fine with that in the long run, because I love my hot showers, and my toys, so the longer this system stays afloat the longer I get to enjoy life, cause the reverse is death.
                We/they only have the luxury of protesting while they are helping to kill the environment, because once this system goes tits up, the so called protectors will starve to death, and some of them will start eating each other, just like we have always done whenever we have run out of food.

                • Paul

                  As I thought, your philosophy allows you to live a lifestyle that ties in what the polluters, drillers and big business wants.
                  How convenient for you.

                  • And what ‘philosophy’ do the parents of the LAST HUMAN GENERATION live with?
                    Because the last human generation is 10 – 23 years old now.
                    Which is somewhat inconvenient 😉

                    Published on Sep 4, 2015
                    Join Jennifer Hynes as she offers us an in-depth look at Runaway Feedback Loops and the situation in the Arctic and the world. She explains the odds that things will rapidly spiral out of control soon, escalating into near term extinction a few decades from now.

                    This is 180 min long, sorry way to much info for you.

                    • mickysavage

                      So Robert there are three possibilities:

                      1. Humanity is stuffed no matter what.
                      2. It has a chance but dramatic action is required.
                      3. It will be fine and look over there a panda!

                      3 is so unlikely I think we can rule it out. The battle really is between 1 and 2.

                      Humanity may be stuffed no matter what.

                      But it should not be a justification for us to stop trying. So stop trying to put us all off.

                    • BM

                      You missed 4.

                      Deal with it when it happens.

                    • weka

                      Very well put micky.

                      What is ‘it’ BM?

                    • BM

                      Effects from climate change.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      “It” is happening. What’s your excuse for your sociopathic proposal to make it worse?

                    • Paul

                      BM, climate change has started.
                      Hadn’t you noticed?

                    • weka

                      I think he means when it gets really bad. But of course he’s missing the point entirely (deliberately IMO), which is that we probably still have some control over how bad things get. BM apparently doesn’t care and wants to keep consuming his way to the end of the world (plus he has this whole Mad Max fantasy).

      • Paul 1.1.3

        What a revolting person to consider that.

        • Robert Atack 1.1.3.1

          Yes Paul, and you vote for them???

          • Paul 1.1.3.1.1

            Your aggressive approach does not help.

            • Robert Atack 1.1.3.1.1.1

              Don’t get me wrong again Paul, I’m not trying to help because there is no fucking help, there is only suffering and near-term human extinction.
              My only suggestion of not adding more people to this shit storm is ignored,
              It’s not my fault people are to stupid to work it out, bugger it.
              It’s not my fault human nature is such that they don’t give a toss about what is happening ‘over there’.
              And it is not my fault the only so called environmental part is hell bent on increasing votes in the final days of human existence, rather then tell the truth, that say for one thing there is not 47 years left for that young kiwi saving green voter to see a return on their investment, in their no grantees retirement scam, and they wanted to add another 16 – 18 years onto this lie, by bring the new borne into it at birth ????? THAT is the lie, THAT is the aggressive attack on nature. That is the lack of compassion.
              I’ve been on about these lying myopic bastards for the past 16 years.

              • Reddelusion

                Robert just a bit of advise. your not the first doomsdayer and you won’t be the last ( been around since human existence) You all have one thing in common a singular or pathological belief bordering on physcosis that you are right. suggest you just chill in your bunker

                • You all have one thing in common a singular or pathological belief bordering on physcosis that you are right.
                  In the previous mass extinction events most species would have gone extinct between 280 ppm – 400 ppm, which in most cases took something like 10,000 years, and over 800 average methane lifetimes, where as this time around we have driven the atmosphere to 400 ppm in something like 200 years,(and 16 methane av lifetimes) with 90% happening in the past 30 years, the only thing saving our sorry arses at the moment are the oceans taking so long to heat, and the ice, (which is rapidly melting)
                  The oceans are supposedly about to give us .2C temperature rise via El Nino over the next 8 months or so (?), that will be on top of the hockey stick trajectory we are currently on.
                  I think I’m more of a fact sayer than a doomsdayer, maybe I do get a bit doomy when I start thinking about human reaction, but then I just get that from history*, how long before they start shooting refugees?
                  Can you picture a 10 year dieoff, as the nine oil/fossil calories over the one sun/current calorie of food disappear ? that’s 7 Christmas day tsunami per day for 10 years. = 7 billion people? I guess the dommy thing is we may only have 2 – 5 years )

                  But that is fine because we have Kiwi Saver )

                  *Dresden, Auschwitz,The Crusades, Hutu, Hiroshima, Nanjing, Pol Pot, Bush,Clinton,Obama and all. $$$$$ etc we are nasty beasties

    • infused 1.2

      Finally Robert. Someone who gets it.

      • Paul 1.2.1

        Oh dear, Robert.

        It’s a bit of an unfortunate co incidence that your ‘do nothing we’re doomed’ belief aligns with the neoliberal deniers like infused who think ‘do nothing our profits will be affected.’

        That is what me suspect doomsayers.
        It’s all too convenient to give up.

        • infused 1.2.1.1

          Change will only happen once it starts affecting the elite…

          It’s really that simple.

          But by then it will be too late. It’s going to be a madmax sort of world imo.

          • weka 1.2.1.1.1

            The elite have been setting up their bolt holes for some time now, no point in waiting for them to do anything useful.

            • marty mars 1.2.1.1.1.1

              It is almost funny with these righties and their madmax fantasies – if that did happen they’d be the first to fall. Just shows how utterly delusional the right wing (and some lefties) brain is.

              • weka

                when the shtf we can stick them on an island with their ones and zeros to eat. A low lying island 😈 Put Julie Christie there with them to film it all.

  2. Corokia 2

    Looks like the trouble with dolphins is that its quite difficult to get a photo of the PM’s wife hugging one.

  3. infused 3

    The wgtn city council did. Not govt.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.1

      Wellington panda project would get govt backing

      Panda plans for Wellington Zoo have been given John Key’s approval, saying the Prime Minister saying the Government would partly fund the project.

      The Wellington City Council has been debating the idea, though there has been some concern the cost to bring the animals here would outweigh the benefits.

      Deputy Mayor Justin Lester, who also chairs the governance, finance and planning committee, said the Government had driven the panda plan, writing to the council in 2011 to seek its interest.

      Seems that you were lying to protect Dear Leader and his corrupt government.

      • Tracey 3.1.1

        yeah John Key or “someone from his office” didn’t go and have a quiet word in someone’s ear “Hey, if you guys propose bringing a panda to Welly Zoo, I will give it my full support.”

        Nope, no chance 🙄

      • infused 3.1.2

        That was separate. This is a new plan by the council. The 2011 plan was millions and scrapped.

        And if you actually read what key said it would be funded like any other program. Of course, the media took it out of context. Just like his support for Red Peak.

        • Draco T Bastard 3.1.2.1

          More fucken BS. Key wasn’t taken out of context and neither was the council officer saying that it was this government pushing it.

          • infused 3.1.2.1.1

            Upgrade your reading comprehension.

            “Wellington City Council wants to reopen discussions to bring giant pandas to Wellington Zoo.”

            “Deputy Mayor Justin Lester said on Friday that Wellington City Council was looking at spending tens of thousands of dollars investigating a business case to house pandas in the capital.”

            “Council would need to look closely at the economics and ensure the business case stacks up.

            “We want feedback to see if it is worthwhile spending on a business case.”

            “he project was revitalised after Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown’s trip to China this month. He believed the pandas would help to strengthen business relationships with China and create tourism revenue.”

            “A spokesman for Prime Minister John Key said on Friday that the Government was not currently engaged in any discussions with Wellington City Council around the issue.”

            AKA, get a fucking clue.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 3.1.2.1.1.1

              What? A new plan to get Pandas into Wellington zoo?

              A long slow process, according to Dear Leader, who seems very well briefed considering this is a purely WCC initiative. By a staggering coincidence it’s also dear to Dear Leader’s heart.

              Why are you so unconvincing?

    • Tracey 3.2

      Just a coincidence that Bronagh loved them and John thought (back when in China) how cool it would be to have some here?

      • b waghorn 3.2.1

        Well he has to make it up to her some how for that little hair pulling incedent.
        And what does one give his wife as a price offering when one is a multi millionaire and she alread has it all.

  4. maui 4

    Nice post. The whole opening nz up for oil is another big failure by this govt. The drillers have already left the east coast of the North Island, and the other great hope the Great South Basin has turned up nothing in decades, they will find nothing again. The govt has bent over backwards for these companies and they should be held accountable for this mal investment.

    The other issue we have is that our only oil refinery in the country can’t refine the oil we produce off Taranaki, only imported oil. Lets hope we don’t have a world oil crisis.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.1

      The whole opening nz up for oil is another big failure by this govt.

      It’s simply the nature of conservative governments. They look to what worked before and try to do it again. They don’t look to the problem and look for real solutions thus we keep getting more of the same failed policies.

  5. Ad 5

    I guess I come at it from a different angle, for a similar result.

    I look at the MBIE sectoral studies that came out last year, which show:
    – oil exploration as having some of the very highest wages and salaries around
    – are also in an industry that has massive investments in Research and Development
    – and when they get an oil strike are selling stuff on the world market that very positively alters our entire GDP per year.
    And these positive economic impacts – such as on New Plymouth – are over a century in duration.

    There are real positives to the oil industry in New Zealand. Dollars and cents, mortgages paid, dinners on the table.

    But then I look at the layoffs in Fonterra, and the layoffs in AgResearch. These are usually people that have put at least six years into study, often with PostDocs. They are deeply invested in this country.

    Both oil and agriculture industries need highly qualified people who are prepared to stay here.

    It’s not whether one industry damages the environment more. For me the difference comes down to ownership of the business. With oil, the profits go overseas. With agriculture, particularly for Fonterra, but also for firms such as Comvita, their profits come back here. They make us richer. They make graduates want to stay here when they can see careers ahead for them. They build families around that. Shell doesn’t live here. BP isn’t domiciled here. Petrobras doesn’t make us richer.

    We’ve had a century and a half now of the quarry-enclave economy, where just the very few extract the wealth, and off they go to the next resource field.

    I will support industries in which the wealth stays here. Because when that happens, the country gets stronger.

  6. Melb 6

    There’s been oil drilling in Maui habitat for decades now.

    Maui deaths attributed to oil drilling: zero.

    • maui 6.1

      Really I don’t remember seeing oil platforms just off the Manakau harbour..? Good thing the Northland field is just like the Taranaki one then in 100 metres of water? Apparently its mostly deepwater.

    • weston 6.2

      i would have thought set netters would have the most profound effect on maui dolphins by a country mile !

  7. Draco T Bastard 7

    and the Northland Reinga basin is again proposed as an area.

    The map linked to is weird as it has a hard red line denoting the Continental Shelf which, last time I looked, hasn’t been so clearly defined. This is because of disputes in territorial claims. New Zealand’s Continental shelf extends almost all the way to Australia is a good example of tension between nations about territory.

    I recently questioned Waitakere Ward councillor Linda Cooper on why she voted against the proposal. She said that she thought there were better ways of expressing opposition to the drilling and also berated those of us who drive cars to Piha and then oppose drilling.

    Yep, sounds like a typical RWNJ: There are better ways to oppose this but until we find those better ways we better not oppose this. And then she’ll probably go off and support the actual drilling.

  8. NZJester 8

    I thought the Chinese Government owns all the Pandas and that you can not buy them, but only rent them from the Chinese.
    I’m betting if they do make it to NZ lots of National Party members will get photo ops with them.
    I mean putting all that money into Pandas instead of investing in New Zealand will solve all our poverty problems, international debt and out social housing crisis right?

  9. savenz 9

    +100 and thanks for naming the councillors opposed to keeping the Maui Dolphins habitat oil free. Hope people take note election time.

  10. Ad 10

    Auckland needs a Councillor who will protect our west coast beaches from drilling.

    Anyone agree?

  11. tracey 11

    AND now it’s all gone away cos

    “Look?! Over there?! Kermadec Sanctuary.

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