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No Drill Kaikoura

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Restoring Eden's partner organization, the Creation Care Study Program, has a base in the beautiful New Zealand town of Kaikoura.  Right now, Kaikoura is faced with the impending threat of offshore oil drilling. THIS SITUATION IS URGENT! ACT NOW!!

 

The Threat

At this very moment, the New Zealand Ministry of Economic Development is planning to allow private companies to explore for oil off the Kaikoura coast.  The government plans to allow international companies to bid on two areas in the Hikurangi Trench, not far from the Kaikoura Canyon.

Drilling in this area poses significant threats to the local economy and the vibrant array of sea life that thrives on the unique conditions present in the Kaikoura Canyon. Much of Kaikoura's economy and way of life rely on healthy marine ecosystems for fishing and tourism.

Drilling is risky because it could:

Release harmful pollutants into the water which could impinge the livelihood of many fishermen and create toxic conditions for the plants and animals that live there.

Cause an oil spill. The Hikurangi Trench is 2500 meters deep and lies at the seismically-active juncture of the Australian and Pacific Plates. New Zealand has had several powerful earthquakes recently and it is foolhardy to trust that this area could escape the disasters that befell other areas that were thought to be safe such as the Gulf Coast. What would happen to Kaikoura if there were an oil spill?

Damage Kaikoura's reputation of being an eco-friendly town (read "Fracking no good for eco-tourism").

Negatively impact whales due to anthropogenic noise (read "Seismic tests given the go-ahead").

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Powerful quakes shook New Zealand's South Island in 2009, 2010, and 2011.

The Challenge

So far, the New Zealand government is only accepting comments from select Maori iwi and councils. Many of the groups and industries that rely on and work for a healthy marine environment were not consulted.  Bidding opens on April 27th and there is little time and opportunity to express grievances with the proposed drilling.

The Response

Nevertheless, many Kaikoura citizens and groups have expressed concern and opposition to the drilling through protesting and writing letters to the New Zealand government.

Any extension of the opening for bidding is extremely needed.  The New Zealand government must see that people all over the world are paying attention and holding them accountable to keep New Zealand the green wonder that it is.

Your voice is critically needed on this issue!

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Next Steps- ACT TODAY!!

Please support Kaikoura's citizens and bountiful wildlife by:

Option 1: Contacting the Minister for Economic Development, Phil Heatley, and ask him to withdraw blocks 12PEG1 and 12PEG2 from the 2012 petroleum block offers.

a. Write him a letter.
View sample letter from CCSP alum.
View sample letter from American citizen.
View lobbying tips.
Minister for Economic Development

The Honorable Phil Heatley
Private Bag 18888 Parliament Buildings
Wellington 6160
New Zealand

b. Call him.
0116448176816 (international)

c. Email him.
p.heatley@ministers.govt.nz

Option 2: Writing to the editor of a New Zealand newspaper.

a. View editorial guidelines and addresses.

b. View letter-writing tips.

Option 3: Joining Greenpeace's effort to stop oil drilling in New Zealand.

a. Sign the petition.

b. View action pack.

More Information

Familiarize yourself with the risks and track records associated with drilling in New Zealand: Out Of Our Depth: Deep-sea oil exploration in New Zealand

Read more about what is happening in Kaikoura via the articles below:

Oil strike could be worth $600m
Oil protest petition gathers support
'No drill' protest on Sunday
Kaikoura takes fracking action
Troubled waters over oil

Check out the press kit compiled by current CCSP New Zealand students.

Follow nodrillkaikoura on Facebook.

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