Roberts lets rip on fracking

Letter of the Day

SARAH ROBERTS AND DAVID MORRISON
Last updated 07:37 20/12/2012

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OPINION: Rob Maetzig's articles on fracking and oil and gas read like advertorials for the companies. A presentation of both sides of the debate on the economics of fracking in New Zealand would be useful. There is uncertainty of the economic benefits even from the pro-frackers.

''The 'potential' to annually deliver almost $800 million in GDP . . . and ''fracking 'could' create 7000 jobs''. How do they determine this?

Just as importantly, how have they addressed the issues of opportunity cost? We believe we are stating the economic obvious. The mass expansion of oil and gas across Taranaki (and New Zealand) will cut across target markets for the clean, green branding of milk and 100 per cent pure tourism. Dairy cows grazing benignly below the oil and gas derricks and on land-farms (dumps for the wastes) are not a good look.

As well as this, New Zealand hasn't even begun to investigate the health effects of living beside oil and gas. In the same newspaper the editorial supports the expansion as ''excellent news'' while we ''lament'' the safety of our families and environment. This makes grim reading when put directly beside an opinion on the tragedies of Pike River and the CTV building collapse. We feel like our family and community in Taranaki are the canaries in the cage.

A national conversation is beginning to occur across New Zealand. Fracking has entered mainstream.

The Tui advert in Oakura near New Plymouth says it all: ''Use our backyard, sounds like a fracking good idea. Yeah right.''

SARAH ROBERTS and DAVID MORRISON

Stratford

From the Editor: We stand by our journalists and our journalism, which includes giving people such as yourselves ample opportunity and space to express opposing views.

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