Greenpeace says the outcome of a High Court decision reviewing the role of the government’s Environmental Protection Agency in regulating dangerous deep water drilling confirms that it is a ‘box ticking’ farce.
Greenpeace lawyers had argued that it was not lawful for the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) to give Anadarko the ‘green light’ for drilling without having seen eight key documents, including the oil spill modelling report.
Late this afternoon the High Court dismissed Greenpeace’s judicial review application.
“The Judge has confirmed our worst fears that the law is so weak that the government’s lead environment agency could let Anadarko start deep water drilling without looking at key documents like its oil spill modelling,” says Greenpeace chief Policy Adviser Nathan Argent.
“This makes a total mockery of claims made by Minister for Energy and Resources Simon Bridges that the industry has been ‘put through the wringer’.”(1)
This decision comes as the government consults on changes that would see the public's right to be notified and consulted on exploratory deep water drilling removed. The government wants to give the sole decision making powers to the EPA.
“The government’s oil drilling programme is a farce. They claimed that New Zealand regulations are equal to the world’s best practice, yet this is no more than a box ticking exercise. And now they want to cut everyday New Zealanders out of the process, handing authority to those that don’t even bother to look at documents that show oil could wash up on our beaches if there was an accident.
“Kiwi families flocking to the beach this summer can have no faith that our magnificent coastlines are in safe hands.”
Argent says Greenpeace is looking at options to appeal the High Court judgement.
Phil Crawford, Greenpeace NZ Media & Communications, 021 22 99 594
Nathan Argent, Greenpeace NZ Chief Policy Advisor, 021 971 234