Auckland Council has today voted to support oil exploration off the city’s west coast, but the final decision will be up to the Government.
Councillors met this morning in a packed public meeting and voted 12-8 to support the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s annual block offer involving more than 185,000 square kilometres of the Reinga Basin.
The council will also lodge a submission to the Government calling for extra protections around the coastline.
Energy and Resources Minister Simon Bridges will have the final say on whether it goes ahead.
The decision was made in favour of the proposal, despite many counsellors opposing. The majority of those who disagreed believe the environmental risks overpowered the potential economic benefits.
Mayor Len Brown said the council was “handcuffed”, as it did not have the final say on whether drilling went ahead.
He said it was better to present a submission with recommendations on how drilling should be managed, rather than throwing out the plan altogether.
Of course a council doesn’t have a final say on resource extraction, just like it doesn’t have a say on the government’s budget or national roading. Read more »