No Ocean Oil Spill For N.Z. But Govt Says Yes To Petrobas

New Zealand Coastline Environment At Risk

Maori Television last night, the 23the March 2011, had a very interesting documentary on the proposed off-shore oil exploration by Petrobas. The application for Petrobas to drill for oil in New Zealand waters has, alarmingly, has been given the go ahead by our National government.

Greenpeace Protest Flotilla: Greenpeace have a flotilla heading off to protest about the drilling operation. This will take off from Auckland this Sunday, 27 March, 2011, at 12.30 noon. Be there if you can: Do join the movement to try and stop oil drilling in New Zealand waters. See details below.

In the past couple of days, I put up a post about drilling which is proposed in Australia, near the coral reef and Marine Park at Ningaloo, in Western Australia. Drilling for oil is a hazardous operation under any circumstances, but to propose an oil activity in such an eco-vulnerable environment at this rare marine park at Ningaloo is surely criminal, and every effort should be made to stop it.

Coral reefs, which feed zillions of fish and birds, are very fragile things. One little oil spill disaster in this region could spell the end of the coral reef and its supporting of fish and bird life. Also, this could start a chain reaction which could affect all other coral reefs, as surviving, but polluted, fish will travel to other waters.

This is a pristine area which is recognized as being unique by environmentalists such as David Bellamy. To risk its safety by allowing oil drilling, or any other threatening operation, shows that the powers that be simply do not have any respect for our precious environment and its wildlife. Profiteering must not take precedence over saving and protecting our environment.

Well – we have our own oil drilling worries here in little New Zealand. The same pressures exist in New Zealand, where powerful foreign companies have to be fended off so that our beautiful natural environments can remain intact.

The Brazilian (?) oil company Petrobas has been given permission by our National government of New Zealand to drill for oil in our oceans. This is most surely a crime against humanity and the environment. I am QUITE sure that Helen Clark and her Labour Government (supported by Greens and Maori Party) would not have allowed this to happen if their government was still in power.

New Zealand is such a small country – It is a narrow country with a lot of coastline. If an accident happens here, then the whole extent of our coastline, from north to south, will be affected.

We have endangered species, and many other fish and birds, which will suffer if there is an oil spill here. But an oil disaster in our waters could spell the end of wild life remaining on our shores.

And all the assurances in the world, all the best technology, will not prevent accidents from happening. The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico last year, BP’s Deep Water Horizon, the nuclear disaster in Japan at Fukushima, which now affects the lives of people 150 ks or more away in Tokyo because of radioactive pollution: All these ‘accidents’ should be a reminder to us that we are not invincible. We cannot guarantee 100% that an accident will not happen, because there is always the element of human error to consider, plus the fact that nature can suddenly override any attempts by us to make a structure ‘safe’.

Maori television, in my experience, is the only channel of late to have expressed concerns about this planned oil drilling. I often switch to Maori Television, as it is the only channel you can rely on to give you something intelligent and worthwhile to watch, when the other channels fail to deliver anything serious.

A few nights ago, I saw the eloquent and incredibly astute Sandra Lee talking about the Maori Party and its future. Last night, the other channels had the usual rubbish on: Any amount of American crime stories and other non-watchable reality stuff, including cooking shows. So I turned to the Maori Channel and caught this documentary, which expressed Maori concerns that the ocean will get contaminated if an oil spill occurs. It really is worth watching: See the documentary on Maori Television New Zealand.

Then, just as I set up to write about this documentary and report Maori objections to this oil drilling operation, I see an unread email from Greenpeace New Zealand. This is from Steve Abel, the Climate Campaigner.

JOIN THE GREENPEACE PROTEST SUNDAY 27TH MARCH 2011 AT AUCKLAND’S PRINCES WHARF. The flotilla leaves at 12.30 noon, so try and be there a bit earlier, around noon.

This is a gathering to see off the Greenpeace flotilla which is heading for the East Cape of New Zealand, the area where Petrobas are about to set up their drilling operations.

Local iwi Te Whanau a Apanui urge people to take action and join the protest against this potentially dangerous operation which will be functioning in their waters.

This oil operation, if it goes ahead, will threaten local people, their food from the sea, and the whole of the nation’s coastline, its fish and its birdlife.

See you there- 12 noon at Princes Wharf, Auckland, on Sunday.


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