Conservation Minister negligent for allowing proposal for oil drilling in Maui’s dolphin sanctuary

The Conservation Minister is negligent for allowing the Government to propose opening up more of the Maui’s dolphin sanctuary to oil and gas exploration, the Green Party said today.

"If National was serious about protecting the critically endangered Maui's dolphins it wouldn't be proposing more oil and gas exploration in the part of the ocean where they live,” said Green Party conservation spokesperson Kevin Hague.

Maui’s dolphin sightings from the Department of Conservation’s database mapped onto the area the Government has proposed for petroleum exploration permits, known as Block Offer 2016, shows 14 reliable sightings of Maui’s dolphins within the Block Offer area. The proposed Block Offer area covers 22 percent of the West Coast North Island Marine Mammal Sanctuary, a sanctuary which was designed to protect Maui’s dolphins.

“Maui’s dolphins – the world’s smallest and most endangered dolphin – are only found in New Zealand, and this National Government is driving them to extinction,” said Mr Hague.

“The Government already allows deadly fishing practices in the Maui’s dolphin sanctuary, and is increasing the risk to Maui’s by proposing more oil and gas exploration in their habitat.

“Today in Parliament, Nicky Wagner, who was acting on behalf of the Minister of Conservation, claimed that New Zealand has world-class regulations to protect Maui’s dolphins, but marine mammal experts believe that National’s management of Maui’s dolphins will lead to their extinction.

“The National Government has not done anything to protect Maui’s dolphins since a 2014 International Whaling Commission report which said, ‘current management situation falls short of that required to reverse the Maui’s decline.’

“The Green Party would protect the Maui’s dolphin by prohibiting new oil and gas exploration − which involves harmful seismic surveying and risky exploratory drilling − in the Maui’s dolphin sanctuary. We would also stop dolphin-killing fishing practices in areas where the Maui’s dolphins live.

“Scientists estimate that there are fewer than 55 Maui’s dolphins left in the world.

“We can’t afford to kill even one more Maui’s dolphin,” said Mr Hague.

 

Map showing 14 reliable Maui’s dolphin sightings in the area of their sanctuary that has been proposed for oil and gas exploration

 

Latest Environment Announcements

Story

Greens commit to ensuring strong oceans protection this term

The Green Party will work with Labour this term to ensure better protections for our oceans, Green MP Eugenie Sage said today.
Read More

Story

Successful prosecution of Talley’s deep-water fishing division shows need for more marine protected areas and better enforcement

Today’s ruling that Talley’s deep-water fishing division, Amaltal, is guilty of bottom trawling in the Hikurangi Marine Reserve demonstrates the ne...
Read More

Story

Green Party commits to stronger urban tree protection and no new mines on public conservation land

The Green Party is the only party in Parliament which is explicitly committing to protecting public conservation land and the indigenous plants and...
Read More

Story

Greens must be at table during RMA reform to protect environment

The Green Party welcomes Labour’s commitment to reform the Resource Management Act, but says a Green voice is crucial to ensure the environment is ...
Read More

Petition

Take action to protect our oceans

We’re taking the health of our oceans seriously and our Thriving Oceans Plan sets out exactly how the Green Party will protect them so we all can e...
TAKE ACTION

Thriving Oceans

Oceans are the lifeblood of our planet and home to thousands of taonga species, providing us with nourishing food to feed our families, supporting...
Read More

Latest Conservation Announcements

Story

Green Party commits to stronger urban tree protection and no new mines on public conservation land

The Green Party is the only party in Parliament which is explicitly committing to protecting public conservation land and the indigenous plants and...
Read More

Story

Green Party releases tourism policy

Today the Green Party’s conservation spokesperson Eugenie Sage went kayaking on Akaroa Harbour to highlight the greater protection achieved for Hec...
Read More

Story

Greens would go further and faster for kauri protection

The Green Party says Labour’s commitment to protecting kauri is a good start, but the Greens would go further and faster to keep our kauri standing.
Read More

Story

Greens commit to protecting Kauri

If re-elected, the Green Party will focus $50 million of the existing Jobs for Nature package to keep Aotearoa’s iconic kauri forests standing.   “...
Read More

Story

Conservation Minister plants two millionth tree in Raglan restoration

A long-term conservation project led by the Whaingaroa Harbour Care group in the western Waikato reaches a significant milestone this week, with th...
Read More

Story

NZ’s most prestigious conservation award – Loder Cup presented to Graeme Atkins

The Minister of Conservation Minister, Eugenie Sage, today presented Aotearoa New Zealand’s most prestigious conservation award, the Loder Cup, to ...
Read More

Latest Energy and Resources Announcements

Story

Electricity market reforms needed

The Electricity Authority’s finding that an “Undesirable Trading Saturation” caused power prices to rise and extra fossil fuels to be burnt shows t...
Read More

Story

Labour’s energy policy shows progress, but more action needed to protect the planet

The Green Party says Labour’s energy policy is a step in the right direction, but the Greens would go further and faster to meaningfully tackle the...
Read More

Story

Stronger Green voice needed next term to stop more mining on or under conservation land

The Green Party is strongly opposed to MBIE’s decision to grant mining permits under public conservation land in the Coromandel.
Read More

Story

Low-emissions options for heavy transport a step closer

Getting low-emission trucks on the road is a step closer with investment in infrastructure to support hydrogen vehicles, the Energy and Resources M...
Read More

Clean Energy Plan

The Green Party has always been clear that climate change needs to be tackled now, and we’ve done more in the last three years than the past 30 ye...
Read More

2020

Clean energy

We know we need to go further and faster on climate action, which is why we’re proposing a plan to kick-start the transition to end the use of foss...
READ MORE