Law will hit deep-sea drilling protesters

Last updated 14:48 27/02/2014

Relevant offers


New Zealand's as close as it's ever got to a free trade deal with India - John Key Prime Minister John Key would have attended Helen Kelly's memorial service if he could John Key officially welcomed in New Delhi ahead of meeting with Indian counterpart Former GNS Science chief executive was highest-earning CRI boss on $800,000 India cranks up security a notch for Prime Minister John Key's visit Kashmir world's largest prison after crackdown, Palmerston North protest organiser says PM's delegation grounded by a faulty microswitch, airforce confirms Pattrick Smellie: Global trade politics just got harder Time for some blue-sky thinking about the PM's travel needs NZ Fire Service to train Syria's 'White Helmets' civil defence volunteers

The public will lose their right to formally oppose deep-sea oil and gas exploration from tomorrow.

A law change will see applications by oil giants go through the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). They will now be "non-notified" preventing members of the public lodging a formal protest.

Environment Minister Amy Adams said  the new classification was the "pragmatic option" for exploratory drilling. She believed it provided regulation "proportionate to its effects".

An overhaul of the laws and regulations governing the oil and gas industry "will provide effective oversight and environmental safeguards without burdening industry with excessive costs and timeframes".

Operators must now submit to the EPA an assessment that identifies "impacts" on the environment. The firms must also demonstrate they consulted with interested parties.

The change was introduced by way of a Supplementary Order Paper (SOP) which meant it didn't go through a parliamentary select committee.

The move followed the controversial "Anadarko Amendment" which saw a ban on protesting at sea. Labour Minister Simon Bridges was criticised for introducing it as an SOP, also avoiding select committee scrutiny, and kowtowing to oil companies.

If an oil company strikes oil they must apply for a new marine consent for production. At this stage, the public are allowed to make submissions on the proposed activities.

Texan oil giant Anadarko are currently test-drilling off the coast of Oamaru, after a recent expedition off Raglan failed to yield any results.

The Green Party said the new regulations "muzzle" the public.

"The Government legislated to stop people voicing their opposition at sea, and now they are locking them out on land," energy spokesman Gareth Hughes said.

Ad Feedback

- Stuff

Special offers
Opinion poll

Should the speed limit be raised to 110kmh on some roads?



Vote Result

Related story: 110kmh limit moves closer

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content