Most candidates favour Tararua oil exploration
Opponents of oil exploration in Tararua may have a hard time dealing with the incoming council, with almost all candidates saying they are in favour of petroleum companies heading to the region.
At the first candidates meeting on Monday night, mayoralty and North ward candidates were asked to state whether they were for or against oil exploration in the region.
All nine ward and two mayoral candidates said they supported it, with some pointing out the potential economic benefit to the region as their reason.
The Manawatu Standard called all South ward candidates yesterday, and all who called back said they, too, were in favour of oil exploration in the region.
Peter Johns said if it could be done without hurting the environment, it was a no-brainer.
"If they find oil and gas, it is only going to be good for the district as a whole. It will provide employment and additional money."
Dave Wolland said he had seen on-land oil fields in the United States and there seemed to be no issues there.
North ward candidate Chris Southgate said that as long as oil exploration was "responsible", he was totally behind it.
Shirley Hull and Tracey Collis did not return messages asking for their views on oil exploration in Tararua.
Tararua Frack Free spokeswoman Raewyn Conning said it was "disappointing" no council candidates were taking a stand against oil exploration, because any finds in Tararua may have to be extracted by fracking.
"A lot of people don't understand that the only way to get oil out may be [by] fracking.
"It's about being educated about fracking so they have the whole picture, not just how it might bring money here."
The anti-fracking group had not considered putting someone forward for the council, because people needed more than a cause to their name, she said.
"People have got to want to enter into the fray of politics to do it."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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