Topic: Environment

GNS Scientists speak out on oil and gas exploration

By Aroha Treacher

Oil and gas exploration in New Zealand has been a sore spot for many across the country.

But GNS Scientists says New Zealand should take responsibility for using its own resources rather than relying on the rest of the world.

GNS Scientist Chris Hollis says, “New Zealand needs to take responsibility for the resources it uses and so we have local oil and gas to explore for and to use locally we should take that responsibility rather than relying on other places in the world to provide us with that resource.”

But overseas companies like TAG have been granted exploration permits, something many iwi and hapū are against because of the environmental impacts.

Mike Smith of Greenpeace says, “Yes, I hear all the politicians going on about the employment it will create, but from what I understand, there won't be any jobs.  My response to those politicians is, don't lie to us (Māori) about the employment we'll get from these corporations.”

But Hollis says it's not the oil and gas that is the problem, but how we're using it and emissions must be reduced.

“48% of our emissions come from agriculture, so we have to be clever about what we do to solve this climate crisis and look carefully how we use oil and gas and stop those other greenhouse gases getting into the atmosphere,” explained Hollis.

Hollis says NZ isn't a prime location for exploration because the majority of our offshore area is under the sea, it's deep, risky and the chance of success is slim.

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