Consultation underway on guidelines

  • Amy Adams

Environment Minister Amy Adams says targeted technical consultation on draft guidelines for managing the environmental effects of oil and gas development activities, including hydraulic fracturing, is now underway.

Comment on the draft guidelines is being sought from specific groups including the Environmental Defence Society, Greenpeace, Fish and Game, Forest and Bird, iwi, local councils, Straterra and the Petroleum Extraction and Production Association of New Zealand.

“The purpose of the targeted consultation is to seek technical feedback to ensure the final published guidelines are accurate and relevant in the New Zealand context,” Ms Adams says.

The guidelines have been peer reviewed by international experts, and a local government working group and iwi have also provided input.

The guidelines were developed following a report by the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment (PCE) last year.

The report’s high level conclusion was that the risks associated with hydraulic fracturing can be managed effectively provided operational best practice is implemented.

In response to the PCE’s report, Ms Adams directed the Ministry for the Environment to produce clear guidelines on the respective roles and responsibilities of central and local government in relation to the control of hydraulic fracturing.

The guidelines are designed to help councils. However, they will not be compulsory and do not represent any change in current Government policy on hydraulic fracturing.
Consultation runs until November 1.