The Government’s new Block Offer will open up another half a million square kilometres of our oceans to mining and oil drilling, including part of the critically endangered Maui’s dolphin marine sanctuary, the Green Party said today.
Approximately 4,000 sq km of the Maui’s dolphin sanctuary – roughly a third of its total area – is up for grabs by oil and mining companies.
“Opening up another half a million square kilometres to mining smacks of desperation from a Government that doesn’t know how to build a sustainable, 21st century economy,” said Green Party energy and resources spokesperson Gareth Hughes.
“Around the world people are turning away from fossil fuels but National doesn’t seem to have got the message.
“With just 55 Maui’s dolphins left, it is hugely irresponsible to offer drilling permits in a third of the sanctuary where they live.
“If more mining is the answer, then National is asking the wrong questions.
“The Greens in Government will promote transformative clean energy projects to end reliance on the fossil fuels that cause climate change, not oversee desperate attempts to dig more up,” said Mr Hughes.
The Block Offer 2017 consultation proposes opening 508,691 sq km to onshore and offshore mining. This will be refined after consultation. The largest ever block offer permit area in 2016 was 525,515 sq km.