we were seeing was real life situations which involved undetonated
explosives where they hadn't gone off when they were supposed to and
they were being left in the ground and also people were starting to
talk about water quality issues with us.
none of these risks were outlined to the families when they were
asked to give access by the company."
Roberts said Energy Watch raised its concerns about the survey being
a permitted activity with the Taranaki Regional Council in March.
now what we find is the regional council has retrospectively granted
consent for up to 1300 properties without getting written approval
which is required under the Resource Management Act.
must do it and they must get it from the landowners and as far as we
are concerned this is unheard of."
retrospective consent covers the 450 square kilometres of the Kapuni
survey area and the 24,000 seismic shots - or 4.8 tonnes of
explosives - on about 1300 properties.
a statement the regional council's director of resource management
Fred McLay said the issue raised by Energy Watch was technical in
nature rather than a matter of environmental concern.
environmental effects of the discharges are less than minor so no
parties are considered adversely affected and written approvals were
McLay said when the charges were set off the explosives vaporised and
few contaminants remained
are largely naturally occurring compounds, including nitrogen gas,
water, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, aluminium oxide and calcium
carbonate which are discharged in the bottom of the hole at
depth."The conclusion is that the individual and cumulative
effects are very minor and do not pose a risk to local groundwater
supplies and users."
Todd Oil Services general manager Rob Jager said he was aware
regulatory matters had been raised about the survey and the company
was working to resolve them.
Jager said the company consulted with local councils before the
project began and had acted in good faith.
our business, the safety of people and the environment comes first.
Where shortcomings have been identified, we have sought to address
them immediately in collaboration with the relevant agencies and
Sarah Roberts did not think that was good enough and she wanted the
Minister for the Environment to investigate.
of this activity has been consented with the landowners' knowledge
which is appalling. We believe New Zealand Petroleum and Minerals,
which issued the permits in the first place, should be involved and
we should be informing the Minister for the Environment who these
councils work under."
Jager said STOS had been granted landowner permission to access 98
percent of the planned survey area and it would continue to work with
these people to obtain important data to inform the future of New
Zealand's oldest natural gas field.