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Sabin reports: "The Government has opened up more than 3000 square kilometers of a marine mammal sanctuary for oil and gas drilling, home to the critically endangered Maui's dolphin. It comes less than a week after the International Whaling Commission urged our Government to do more to save the species."

It is estimated that there are less than 55 Maui dolphins left in the world. (photo: Panda.org)
It is estimated that there are less than 55 Maui dolphins left in the world. (photo: Panda.org)


New Zealand Government Opens Rare Dolphin Habitat to Oil Drilling

By Brook Sabin, 3 News, New Zealand

17 June 14

 

he Government has opened up more than 3000 square kilometres of a marine mammal sanctuary for oil and gas drilling, home to the critically endangered Maui's dolphin.

It comes less than a week after the International Whaling Commission urged our Government to do more to save the species.

The Maui's dolphin is the world's rarest. It is estimated there are only 55 left.

"I think primarily once you go from exploration right through to production, you're not jeopardising the wildlife," says Minister of Energy and Resources Mr Bridges.

In April, the Government signed off a block offer – the biggest area ever of sea and land for oil and gas exploration.

Now official documents obtained by the Green Party reveal the Department of Conservation pointed out that this is the home of the Maui's dolphin, known as the West Coast North Island Marine Mammal Sanctuary.

The area the Government has opened up for potential drilling overlaps 3000 square kilometres into the sanctuary, including large areas off the Taranaki coast.

"There has been petroleum exploration in that area for a long period of time," says Mr Bridges. "I think it's about achieving a balance."

Last week the International Whaling Commission said it had "extreme concern" about the decline in Maui's dolphins.

Mr Bridges had an earlier bungle with the block offer, signing off the country's biggest forest park for drilling, Victoria Forest Park, despite having never heard of it.

The conservation lobby was outraged with the Victoria Forest Park incident, and opening up the Maui's dolphins' home for exploration won't go down well either.

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+43 # tigerlillie 2014-06-17 21:35
Unconscionable.
 
 
+38 # spercepolnes 2014-06-17 21:41
Simon Bridges is one of the worst examples of an arrogant, conceited, egocentric, "I think I'm born to rule" right wing, money is everything arseholes it's possible to meet.
And an ignorant buffoon, to boot!

He'll probably go far.......
 
 
+27 # Malco 2014-06-18 00:30
Spercepolnes has completely nailed it. Bridges is loathsome beyond words, the poster boy for the "born-to-rule" wingers. He'd probably sell his granny's kidneys if the price was right, so the dolphins are totally screwed.
 
 
+38 # tohora 2014-06-18 04:53
But... some good news, New Zealand. Some really good news. Trans Tasman's seabed mining application has just been refused!

See: http://www.epa.govt.nz/news/erma-media-releases/Pages/Decision-released-on-TTR-Ltd.aspx

Keep up the good fight -- some times you win. Let's get Simon out of the picture by showing how ignorant of the issues he is!
 
 
+26 # RnR 2014-06-18 07:44
Give him a seat at the table between the BP executives and the Big Dick Cheney - he'll be at home at last.

These people are the reason the human species should become extinct.
 
 
+31 # jwb110 2014-06-18 09:50
Fossil fuel and oil in particular, are the dinosaurs in this scenario. In the rush to squeeze the last drops of petroleum and coal the planet gets ruined for an ever failing product. We should remember that it is possible for all mammals to become extinct. That includes humans.
 
 
+27 # Adoregon 2014-06-18 10:43
Given the way humans treat each other and [especially] other species, homo sapiens are categorically not too bright and have forfeited the right to survive.

What a bunch of roaringly self-serving douchebags.
 
 
+15 # seattlepainter 2014-07-30 20:59
Extinction is forever. We need to do away with fossil fuels and protect what is left of our fragile planet. There is no reason to open up a marine mammal sanctuary for oil and gas drilling.
 
 
+13 # sian 2015-01-18 04:33
You need a link from this page to a petition against the oil exploration so people outside of new Zealand can help lobby your parliament.
 

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