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Stop deep sea oil in NZ

Written By: - Date published: 11:00 am, March 26th, 2011 - 42 comments
Categories: foreshore and seabed, Mining - Tags:


“Local iwi Te Whanau a Apanui have called on New Zealanders everywhere to join them in defending their precious marine environment.

We are now uniting to respond to that call.”


With the ink barely dry on the agreement, the new Foreshore and Seabed legislation begins to take effect.

Oil drilling companies are rushing to take advantage.

With this new legislation, (as with the last), there is slim, to no chance, of any legal challenge from the affected iwi.

All commentators admit that the present legislation is little different from the Labour Party’s original law which also legislated against Maori legal rights to challenge the control of the F&S.

So why are the drilling companies acting much more aggressively under this legislation than under the previous F&S bill?

In 2004 after serious lobbying by mining and oil companies, in a shock move, the original Labour legislation was imposed on Labour’s Maori caucus and the public generally without any mandate, especially without any mandate from Maori.

(As has been admitted on various occasions, all the Labour Party Maori MPs, in line with majority Maori feeling, would have voted against the original legislation if Labour had freed them to vote with their conscience.)

Having no real mandate – To exploit the legislation to the full extent of the law, could have seen the mining and oil companies targeted by mass protest from Maori and their Pakeha supporters.

As it was, this mass anger particularly from Maori, was vented against the Labour Government, with 40,000 marching on the Beehive.

The big difference with the present legislation is that it has now comes with a mandate, missing from the original legislation, care of the Maori Party.

This mandate gives the mining and oil companies the confidence they need to proceed with their plans to exploit the Seabed and Foreshore.

Will Te Whanau Apanui and Greenpeace be able to mount the sort of mass protests necessary to stop this threat to our marine environment in the new political environment?

Admittedly, it will be harder.

But as has been shown over schedule 4, if Te Whanau Apanui and Greenpeace are successful and can rally the numbers, government and big business will get cold feet.

This is why as many of us as possible should support this initiative.

Get the message out.

Pass it on.

Stop Deep Sea Oil Drilling. Rally Tomorrow – Princes Wharf 12.30 pm.

42 comments on “Stop deep sea oil in NZ ”

  1. Salsy 1

    Yep, and its already hitting the news mining-the-coast-a-possibility

  2. Nick K 2

    Got any bright ideas on how we pay our bills if we don’t sell stuff to the world?

    • kriswgtn 2.1

      You cant sell what dont belong to you

    • Shane Gallagher 2.2

      A few minor points Nik;

      – the oil and mining is/will be sold off to private companies for their private profit most of which goes overseas making NZ’s financial situation worse not better

      – once they have exploited the the natural resource they will bugger back off overseas leaving NZ to clean up the mess they made and that will cost us a lot more than we will have ever got from them. Also just like we are having to do now – future generations will be left with this mess and debt to pay for. That is intergenerational theft and is both immoral and unethical. As well as making no financial sense

      – we need to develop a sustainable economy not one based on 19th century conquer and rape mentality. Once you have joined the 21st century you may be able to make some sensible contributions…

      • Colonial Viper 2.2.1

        As well as making no financial sense

        Strictly speaking it makes a lot of financial sense if you are BP, ExxonMobil, Aramco, etc.

        • higherstandard

          It also makes a lot of sense if you clone something along the lines of the nordic statoil companies

    • Jenny 2.3

      “Got any bright ideas on how we pay our bills if we don’t sell stuff to the world?”

      Nick K

      Firstly Nick. You might want to clarify what you mean by “our bills”?

      Assuming our country’s biggest bill, is the fuel bill, ie imported oil.

      Rather than taking risks with our environment, mightn’t it be better to cut back?

      My suggestion, is that in public policy we should immediately switch away from the private car to public transport. The private car only to be used for private use, ie leisure. All commuting, moved to much more efficient and fuel thrifty buses, trains, ferries.

      This would represent a serious cutback in our imported “fuel bill”.

      Further, all electricity generation that uses fuel oil (apart from a few minor exceptions, like emergency hospital generators etc.) should be made illegal, another big cutback.

      As a side affect cutting back on oil imports and consumption would see a big improvement in such evils as traffic congestion, poor air quality and CO2 pollution.

      Nick maybe you would like to list some of our country’s other “bills.”

      And then we could all think of alternatives for those as well.

      My personal feeling is that the crisis of climate change peak oil etc. is so dire and pressing, that the need to import thousands of flat screens TVs and other must have consumer items from overseas should be put off for the good of the nation. (For a while at least.)

      Seriously Nick, by selling “our stuff to the world” are you suggesting that we should be drilling for oil at dangerously risky depths to pay for more oil imports? This sounds like a hundred different kinds of crazy to me.

      P.S. Switching all commuting to public transport would, by keeping our cars garaged for most of the week, see them last much longer and the need to import more cars to replace them, would be another overseas “bill” we could cut back on.)

      Conserve, Reuse, Recycle.

      • Smoko Joe 2.3.1

        Laudable sentiments, Jenny, but I can tell you now, if you tried to get elected on a “no cars” platform, you wouldn’t have a bolter’s show. There’s nothing not 21st century about not using hydrocarbons – if anything, more of it is happening every day as the developing world catches us up and dismisses our calls for cutting back as the hypocrisy of the privileged.
        More to the point, the post above is just silly when it talks about foreign oil companies “rushing in” now that the MACA Act is in place – they’ve been drilling away and dragging stuff out of the offshore oil and gas fields for the best part of 50 years.

  3. weka 3

    Jenny, I’m not really following the argument that the new legislation creates additional problems. Why can local iwi not oppose the drilling now compared to before (or before the original bill)? Is there something in the legislation that prevents this?

    Also, there’s not much detail on the issues (the link goes to info on the protest but not the issues).

    • Jenny 3.1

      “Why can local iwi not oppose the drilling now compared to before (or before the original bill)? Is there something in the legislation that prevents this?”


      Hi weka. The original Foreshore and Seabed legislation specifically removed from iwi the right to mount a legal challenge to the use of the S&F.

      In such cases as the proposed deep sea oil drilling, or proposed iron sand mining, befor the original F&S legislation there was the option of iwi making a legal case based on traditional title and/or usage of marine resources.

      This option was taken off the table. (In the current legislation legal action based on indigenous title is so constrained as to be only token.)

      Therefore direct action as being called for by Te Whanau a Apanui, supported by Greenpeace, is the only option.

      captcha – “forced”

  4. Jenny 4

    “Also, there’s not much detail on the issues (the link goes to info on the protest but not the issues).”


    Here is a little bit of the detail, of course there is very, very much more.

    captcha – “take”

    • Jenny 4.1

      Further detail on the F&S here

      “…there’s not much detail on the issues”


      Weka, There are several reasons I did not put a lot of this detail into my original post.

      But the main reason is that, personally I prefer to write posts, that don’t just bemoan the facts, but also promote alternatives, and plans for moving forward.

      Despite having the right to take legal action regarding the F&S taken off them, local iwi Te Whanau a Apanui supported by Greenpeace are not just taking deep sea oil drilling off their coast as a done deal, but are taking couragous protest action to stop this injustice.

      To succeed they need to be solidly supported by as many Kiwis as possible.

      Weka, I hope you and many others can make it to Princes Wharf tomorrow.

  5. Afewknowthetruth 5

    One slight problem with attempting to oppose corporations: corporations, especially international oil companies and bankers, own the government …. whichever party is in power.

    Corporations write the draft legislation and our criminal politicians turn it into law.

    And none of them could give a toss what the people think or what the effect on coming generations will be.

    • Jenny 5.1

      Brain, this is for you

      “As long as you say there is no hope, then there will be no hope, but if you go down and take a stance, then there will be hope.”

      Asmaa Mahfouz

      A Public Place

      “It’s all very well to organize on Facebook and update on Twitter, but these are only preludes. You also need to rise up, to pour out into the streets. You need to be together in body, for only then are you truly the public with the full power that a public can possess.”

      Rebecca Solnit

      capcha – “oppositions”

      • Afewknowthetruth 5.1.1

        “Hope is the problem.” -Derrick Jensen.

        You can only have hope if you have an informed general populace that cares. The reason we are in the mess we are in now is because neither applies.

        People will eventually emerge from the collective trance they are in, but not until it is far too late. At the moment the majority are more concerned about rugby that their own futures.

        The ‘good’ news is that Peak Oil will demolish present economic arrangements within 5 years. The bad news is most people are uninformed about Peak Oil and its ramifications, and don’t care.

  6. weka 6

    Hi Jenny, I was actually meaning information on the oil drilling, but I appreciate the extra information about the F & S issues. Am having a read through now. Also appreciative of proactive approaches, cheers. Can’t make it to the action sorry, being in the wrong island altogether 🙂

  7. Chris 7

    “My suggestion, is that in public policy we should immediately switch away from the private car to public transport. The private car only to be used for private use, ie leisure. All commuting, moved to much more efficient and fuel thrifty buses, trains, ferries”

    You are dreaming.

    “Further, all electricity generation that uses fuel oil (apart from a few minor exceptions, like emergency hospital generators etc.) should be made illegal, another big cutback”

    You are really dreaming.

    “My personal feeling is that the crisis of climate change peak oil etc’

    Both greenie myths. [I can reference it if you want.]

    “Switching all commuting to public transport would, by keeping our cars garaged for most of the week, see them last much longer and the need to import more cars to replace them, would be another overseas “bill” we could cut back on.”

    You do live in New Zealand do you ? Keep cars garaged and use public transport ? Ha !
    Good grief. The real world does not operate like that.

    Sorry I don’t want to be rude and usually I am not, and I have some sentiments towards your goals but gracious what you wrote is just plain delusional.


    • Afewknowthetruth 7.1

      “My personal feeling is that the crisis of climate change peak oil etc’

      ‘Both greenie myths. [I can reference it if you want.]’

      I wonder which planet you are living on. It is obviously not the same one as the rest of us.

      Extraction data clearly demonstrates that the peak in extraction was over 2005 to 2008, and we are leaving the ‘bumpy platuau’ and about to fall off the cliff. Hence the deperation on behalf of oil companies to exploit pockets of oil in very difficult locations.

      CO2 rising at over 2ppm per annum (faster than ever), positive feedbacks already triggered, glaciers and ice sheets melting at unprecendeted rates … all a myth?

      • Smoko Joe 7.1.1

        That extraction data calculation relates to conventional oil and gas fields and ignores the numerous hydrocarbon sources such as oil shale sands, coal seam gas, gas hydrates, bio-fuels and the like, which are available in abundance for a long long time yet. The difference is that they will be more expensive than conventional sources. The more that’s the case, the more it will be viable for renewable or non-hydrocarbon fuel sources to compete with hydrocarbon alternatives.
        Unfortunately, of course, this will be the market at work and probably someone who agrees with you will end up protesting about the impact of the high cost of new fuel sources on the poor and argue the government should control them.

  8. clandestino 8

    Yes does seem a bit delusional. Not sure which NZ you live in, if you think people will accept that sort of control.

    I have one practical question though. Forget about foreign companies, and as someone raised above, what would your objection be to the state undertaking these activities through something similar to statoil, using a combination of exporting when the price is high and stockpiling when it is low? Thus building sovereign wealth and ensuring we have sufficient energy to make a more complete transition to renewables in future?

    • KJT 8.1

      Come-on. Countries which Nationalise oil production generally have an invasion by US troops or an enforced change of Government.

    • Jenny 8.2

      “You do live in New Zealand do you ? Keep cars garaged and use public transport ? Ha !”


      “Yes does seem a bit delusional. Not sure which NZ you live in, if you think people will accept that sort of control.”


      Clandestino and Chris, Sorry to pop your xenophobic bubble, but I was born here and apart from short holidays, have lived and worked in New Zealand all my life.

      Most of my working life has been spent in Auckland.

      From going to work every day in New Zealand’s busiest city.

      Some things I know.

      Kiwis hate being stuck in traffic jams.

      Kiwis just like me, (and probably you), hate driving to work – Every day of the working year – In all kinds of weather – Through all kinds of traffic – Whether we feel up to it, or not.

      I know this for sure, from long experience.

      Clandestino when I say that in public policy we should favour public transport over private, you claim that I am “a bit delusional”, “if you think people will accept that sort of control.”

      Clandestino, The fact is, if we want to go to work – We are compelled to drive our cars to get there!

      Why would kiwis willing endure an experience that generally – is wearing – is pointless – is expensive – is wasteful – is frustrating – even on occasion, maddening – if we weren’t compelled to?

      Some of my friends at work are petrol heads, who bring stacks of car magazines to work for my enjoyment. These workmates spend all their spare time on their cars, and gather together at smoko to talk about their hobby. On different occasions these native Kiwi petrol heads, have told me that they hate commuting, that commuting takes the joy from their hobby, that if they had a choice, they would gladly choose to get to work some other way.

      I don’t think it is un-kiwi as you seem to be suggesting, for me to argue that, Private Cars should be for Private Use.

      Your comments seem to be suggesting that I support some sort of Orwellian compulsion and advocate forcing people onto public transport.

      Clandestino, by accepting the status quo, It is you, and not me, who is supporting compulsion and opposing choice.

  9. KJT 9

    “My personal feeling is that the crisis of climate change peak oil etc’

    “Both greenie myths. [I can reference it if you want.]”

    Yes you can. the same people who deny tobacco is harmfull, the ones who show a dodgy,, if convincing to lay people, BS.

    The best argument for AGW is the type of nutter who denies it.

    Try this one. http://climatecrocks.com/ or this one http://debunking.pbworks.com/w/page/17102958/Denier-Myths-Debunked

    Or try the scientific journals.

  10. MrSmith 10

    People don’t seem to get it. Let me spell it out, ‘we have to stop pouring carbon into the atmosphere’ even most governments in the world get it now. the costs of carrying on like we are will be huge and are already starting to mount.

    The royalty regime in New Zealand requires oil companies to pay the Government 5 per cent of the value of the oil or 20 per cent of accounting profits, whichever is higher.

  11. Chris 11

    It is very easy to get ‘research’ and stats. to back each side of the argument with AGW so I will not bother as we could be here for years. The point is that for the average Joe Blogs in the street they are 1/ tired of the ‘debate’ 2/ tired of the doom and gloom Greenie approach 3/ aware that much ‘science’ around the debate has been manipulated by politics and the Greenies to suit there agenda – which is to do with taxes and social control.
    In the eyes of the public you are loosing the debate and they are becoming increasing tired of the whole ‘Greenie movement’.
    As PR exercise it is failing and by making electricity ‘illegal’ – that sure is not going to help your cause and again will make the average Joe Blogs think you are mad.

    • weka 11.1

      Except at it’s most basic peak oil doesn’t have to be a Greenie issue. When petrol tops $3/L at the pump, and then $4 and so on, this average Joe Blogs that you are talking about will most certainly come to understand peak oil in a very personal way. And you don’t have to be a Greenie to the point out that the fact that all the other costs associated with living (healthcare, food, building etc) are increasing because of peak oil. Then Joe Bloggs will be happy to use public transport because that’s what they can afford.

      Allowing foreign (or state) companies to try and extract oil from increasingly difficult places doesn’t solve that problem, because they too are having to operate using expensive oil rather than cheap oil and eventually it will become uneconomic. That is why it makes sense to not allow it here – if an accident happens we will not be recompensed for that, and there really is no way to make up for spilling large amounts of oil into our environment. Further, given that we will be increasingly dependent on producing our own food (there’s that peak oil thing again), risking our coastal waters is an idiocy.

      It’s not paying bills that we have to worry about, it’s living within our means. Financially responsible people already understand this.

      • Afewknowthetruth 11.1.1

        Quite right. Peak Oil is not a party issue; it’s an issue for the whole of society. (The Greens are just a bunch of clowns, like the rest of parliamentariians who operate at a level marginally above that of intermediate schoolkids.)

        There is plenty of evidence that all current economic arrangements will collapse completely well before 2020, since oil underpins EVERYTHING in western socieites and worldwide tradeable oil is likely to be down by 50%, if not more by 2020. Indeed, there is plenty of evidence that financial arrangements will undergo a meltdown worse than occured in 2008, due ot delcining energy supply and rising prices.

        One of the most important lessons of history is that most people are clueless about what is really happing till it hits them in the face.

  12. Chris 12

    We can’t use nuclear power for obvious reasons, we can’t mine anything as it bad for the land, we can’t use coal as it bad for the atmosphere, we can’t dam the rivers as it bad for the environment, we can’t use marine turbines as its bad for marine life, we can’t use wind farms as they are an eyesore and noisy, solar power is only good for small scale use, we can’t do offshore oil drilling as it bad again.
    Every power course is ‘bad’ or expensive or running out. I am surprised we even had an industrial revolution.
    Societies make advancements and progress and manage the risks involved. The greenie approach is more to do with societal control then environmental control per se. Yes we have to use ‘clean, renewable and sustainable energy forms’ as we all ‘love the planet’ but when the greenies take the societal control to ridiculous lengths and say ‘make electricity illegal’, ‘ban all cars now and use public transport’ you just lost the debate and any recognition of normality.

    • MrSmith 12.1

      Chris “Illegal electricity” WTF , I think the post is about making people aware that the oil companies are lining up to drill deep water wells around new zealand with little benefit to the country especially if we have a major oil spill as a result, yes they will throw us a few bones 5 per cent of the value of the oil or 20% of the profit. Also can we trust them to tell us how much oil they are extracting, No we can’t.
      If you have time Chris here is some good reading on the subject, but my guess is you will just write it off as more Greenie hysteria. http://werewolf.co.nz/2010/06/big-oil-rigging-the-game/

    • weka 12.2

      Yeah spare us the ideological anti-green rhetoric and try engaging with the actual issues. Jenny didn’t say make electricity illegal, so try rereading what she actually said (and then see if you can tell the difference between what she said and what you purport she said).

      As far as I can tell all political parties want to control society, I thought that was the point.

  13. Chris 13

    Quote from ‘Jeeny’ above. Jenny made the statement which is fairly clear. If she ‘meant something else’ she should state so.

    “Further, all electricity generation that uses fuel oil (apart from a few minor exceptions, like emergency hospital generators etc.) should be made illegal, another big cutback.”

    O yes – I used to be a greenie at heart, but gave up when I became more aware of Greenpeace’s modus operandi – using misinformation, scaremongering, distortion of the facts and at times terrorist behaviors.

    Moderation of behaviours is the key to generational change not extremism – ‘ism’s’ of any sort are not good.

    “If you can’t convince, people confuse them” H.S.Truman. Geenpeace has taken that quote to heart.


    • Jenny 13.1

      Chris, Nuclear generation of electricity is illegal in this country, the reasons are many, but the main one, is the terrible risk nuclear power poses for the environment.

      To legislate against generating electricity from fossil fuels for the same reason, (the terrible risk to the environment) in my opinion is not such a stretch.

      This is nowhere near your deliberate effort to misconstrue this, into ‘making electricity illegal’, (your quotation marks).

      It is a sign of the extreme right that when you can’t win in open debate, you resort to lies and misconstruction of your opponents views to try and demolish their argument.

      That, and using the fear of the other. ie insinuating that I must be a foreigner. C’mon Chris why stop there, why don’t you speculate on my religion, or culture, or race, (you know you want to).

      capcha – “leaf”

    • weka 13.2

      Jenny’s words:

      “Further, all electricity generation that uses fuel oil (apart from a few minor exceptions, like emergency hospital generators etc.) should be made illegal, another big cutback.”

      Chris’ words:

      … but when the greenies take the societal control to ridiculous lengths and say ‘make electricity illegal’…

      See the difference?

      I have to agree Jenny, misquoting people as a substitute for addressing the issues directly is a poor form of debate.

    • Smoko Joe 13.3

      Since no electricity in New Zealand is produced from fuel oil, I think we’re fairly safe from this particular threat.

  14. weka 14

    “Nuclear generation of electricity is illegal in this country”

    I don’t think that’s true. It’s illegal for warships to visit that carry nuclear weapons or are powered by nuclear generation, and it’s illegal to make nuclear weapons or dump nuclear waste here, but I don’t think there is a law against nuclear power generation on land.

    The Act prohibits “entry into the internal waters of New Zealand 12 miles (22.2 km) radius by any ship whose propulsion is wholly or partly dependent on nuclear power” and bans the dumping of radioactive waste within the nuclear-free zone, as well as prohibiting any New Zealand citizen or resident “to manufacture, acquire, possess, or have any control over any nuclear explosive device.”[4][2] The nuclear-free zone Act does not make building land-based nuclear power plants illegal.[5]


  15. Jenny 15

    ” I don’t think there is a law against nuclear power generation on land”


    Touche’ Weka

    You caught me out there.

    I was making a broad brush statement in the heat of the argument.

    In my defence I would like to argue that sometimes the law is interpreted in a wider way than it is written.

    For instance despite what is actually written down, public policy often also requires a mandate before it can be actioned to it’s full extent.

    There is no public mandate for nuclear power generation in New Zealand, ergo the law banning nuclear powered warships and weapons, in practice has migrated to nuclear power generation.

    Cheers Jenny

    • weka 15.1

      Ok, I see what you mean. Just having a read around on the subject, it looks like David Lange introduced anti-nuke policy several years ahead of the legislation passing.

      Something else that was on wiki is that the original bill was introduced by Prebble, and was intended to include power generation. Does anyone know if that is true?

  16. todd 16

    I’ve been preparing to try and stop their drilling… Stuff the consequences, our coasts are worth more than a whole lot of money going off shore and our beautiful coasts being ruined forever. We will see hardly any of the profits and most of the jobs will not be for New Zealanders . Oil companies are a bunch of thieving scum and the National party are allowing them to steal our resources. Just have a look around the World at all their horrendous spills and legal maneuvers to try and not pay. Our country is worth more and they have proven on numerous occasions that they cannot be trusted. They will try to plunder as quickly as possible and this will result in accidents. So fuck that! They’re going to find their movements seriously impeded by appropriate sabotage of their equipment and vehicles.

  17. Jenny 17

    East Coast Today:
    Hundreds opposed to deep sea oil drilling greet flotilla

    “”Deep sea oil drilling will not happen in New Zealand waters”

    Steve Abel

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