Bernard Orsman is Super City reporter for the NZ Herald.

Auckland Council votes against deep sea oil drilling

The effects of deep-sea drilling could be catastrophic on sea life, the Auckland council fears. Photo / File
The effects of deep-sea drilling could be catastrophic on sea life, the Auckland council fears. Photo / File

Auckland councillors have voted 14-7 against deep-sea oil exploration off the west coast of the North Island.

At a governing body meeting today they said oil exploration could have a catastrophic effect on the coastal and ocean environment, and industries such as fishing and tourism.

The decision also referred to the "critically endangered Maui's dolphin and other cetaceans living in the Tasman Sea" and to avoiding the "catastrophic impacts of climate change" and to achieving "the Paris goal of keeping the increase in global average temperature to well below 2C above pre-industrial levels".

Voting against an offer of oil exploration in the Government's 2017 block offer, the councillors believed the overall economic benefit to Auckland of deep sea oil would be negligible.

"Rather than encourage further oil exploration, effort should instead be put into developing abundant clean energy opportunities and strategies that can create employment and replace polluting energy sources," the amendment said.

Greenpeace boss and former Green Party co-leader Russel Norman, who was at the meeting, tweeted: "It is ludicrous to support new oil exploration in a world of climate change.

Councillors who voted against exploration:
Cathy Casey
Ross Clow
Efeso Collins
Linda Cooper
Chris Darby
Alf Filipaina
Chris Fletcher
Mayor Phil Goff
Richard Hills
Penny Hulse
Mike Lee
Greg Sayers
Wayne Walker
John Watson

For:
Deputy Mayor Bill Cashmore
Denise Lee
Daniel Newman
Dick Quax
Desley Simpson
Sharon Stewart
John Walker

- NZ Herald

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