Will there be aftershocks?

16:00, Dec 09 2013

A seismic-like tremor was felt across the isthmus after this column reported Auckland's not-so-super-city's support for oil drilling off the coast.

Now these abridged letters were among a higher than normal tsunami of mail:

"I was born in the Shetland Islands north of Scotland in 1946.

We lived in a council (state) two bedroom house looking over the sea, where storms blew out windows and two doors leaked badly.

"The council had no money for repairs. We dug peat from the hillside, dried, bagged and stacked it for winter fuel. I chopped beach driftwood for the fire. If Father had a spare 10 shillings, he bought a bag of coal.

"Then North Sea oil was discovered.


"Oil exploration could exist alongside fishing and fish farming, main industries in Scottish and Norwegian waters. Norway with a population of about three million and a long, rugged coastline soon had oil rigs in her waters. Britain followed suit.

"At the height of the boom about 36 rigs worked in British and Norwegian sectors of the North Sea.

"Well-paid work oil rigs industries appeared in ports along the British ports from Shetland to Great Yarmouth.

"Today, the Shetland Islands have the highest standard of living in Great Britain, thanks to North Sea oil.

"No leaky houses, no unemployment.

"An oil fund from oil revenue peaked at £700 million and is now £100 plus million for the benefit of Shetland's population.

"The Norwegians' oil company, Statoil, extracted oil in a extremely professional manner and benefits have been immense to a country similar to New Zealand, three million people, and a long coastline.

"Protesters should research the history of Norway, its oil industry, the benefits to population and infrastructure from 1970." - Gordon B Smith

"I agree wholeheartedly with you. A 12 mile limit on drilling and fishing is needed to help save the dolphins. But I somehow doubt if that will be done in time to save them, especially under this government and council." - Ana A Squire

"I am writing in absolute outrage after your column.

"I am 25 and have lived in Mangere Bridge all my life. I have never been so deeply angered and upset about our government.

"When did New Zealand decide to begin selling ourselves to the potentially highest bidder like a group of mercenary thugs for a little extra cash, losing our love and our pride in our beautiful land, the people who live here, and the countless species of marine and mammal life that would (without any doubt) perish if the plan backfired?

"In a geothermal country with scores of magma tunnels and fault lines already out of kilter and they want to do risky things like drilling that might make matters worse! Look at Christchurch, councillors, and then try to tell us that this is a good idea." - Susan Ruth Wilson

"You've conveniently turned a blind eye to long queues of anxious people at petrol stations, carless days and high fuel prices of yesteryear. Opec certainly had us over a barrel and there was nothing we could do about it.

"All because we took the oil supply for granted without bothering to explore or find our own. Benefits far outweigh risks." - Mark Miller

"Thank you so much for alerting us to Auckland Council's appalling approval of oil drilling with little or no consultation. The environmental risks are ‘of high consequence' should anything like what happened in the Bay of Mexico occur here. Then there are the Maui dolphins. We certainly need people like you to keep us informed of issues that otherwise go under the radar." - Helen and Patrick Doherty

Manukau Courier