National to allow oil drilling in Maui’s Dolphin sanctuary

National has announced 15 new drilling permits today that include permits in the Maui’s Marine Mammal Sanctuary, Victoria Forest Park, other ecologically protected areas and the deepest well ever permitted in New Zealand. 

It appears that they have granted a permit that would allow oil drilling in deeper water than ever before anywhere in the world.

The Government is pushing the Maui’s Dolphin to the brink of extinction with its announcement today giving the green light to oil drilling in their Marine Mammal Sanctuary, the Green Party said today.

National has announced 15 new drilling permits today that include permits in the Maui’s Marine Mammal Sanctuary, Victoria Forest Park, other ecologically protected areas and the deepest well ever permitted in New Zealand. 

It appears that they have granted a permit that would allow oil drilling in deeper water than ever before anywhere in the world.

“National has arrogantly ignored the public opposition to drilling in the Maui’s sanctuary. National is pushing the Maui’s to extinction,” said Green Party energy spokesperson Gareth Hughes.

“Oil exploration and Maui’s Dolphins don’t mix.

"If National was serious about protecting Maui's Dolphins it wouldn't be allowing more oil exploration in the part of the ocean where they live.

"The Government is putting the short-term interest of petroleum companies ahead of the thousands and thousands of New Zealanders who love and want to protect the endangered Maui's Dolphin.

“Most New Zealanders would expect a Marine Mammal Sanctuary to actually protect dolphins but National is inviting oil companies in to explore for oil where Maui’s Dolphins live.

“At the same time as countries are meeting to plan reducing emissions the New Zealand government is handing out permits for oil exploration in the habitat of the world’s most endangered dolphin.

“National’s pollution economy is putting our treasured species like the Maui’s dolphin, and our treasured places like Victoria Forest Park at risk.

“Ultra deep water wells are far riskier because when there’s a leak there is no easy way to stop it. The consequence of a leak for New Zealand's environment, economy and reputation would be catastrophic.

"A deep sea oil spill would be even worse in New Zealand because we are so far away from any support.

“We can invest in clean energy, reduce our emissions and protect our endangered species, we don’t need more oil," said Mr Hughes.

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