Reader Fiona McAllister says Energy and Resources Minister Simon Bridges has got it wrong.

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The published map showing the area being considered for gas and oil exploration off the North Island's west coast indicates the overlapping area which includes the marine mammal sanctuary is relatively small in relation to the whole area.

Surely it is possible to completely exclude the sanctuary and a small buffer outside it in order to protect the estimated 55 Maui dolphins that exist there?

Simon Bridges is disingenuous saying there hasn't been a single incident in 40 years of drilling affecting these mammals. Who can prove that?

The risk comes from extra traffic, seismic activity, spills and additional pollution.


A sanctuary is not a sanctuary if the creatures it contains are not afforded every possible protection.

I am certainly not anti-job creation and progress but if we don't do everything possible to protect endangered species in our patch we have no right to criticise others.

New Zealanders do care. Money is a crude measure of success.

Simon has got it wrong.

- Fiona McAllister, Mount Maunganui
Reader Trish Coates says the Rena disaster should have shown Energy and Resources Minister Simon Bridges what could happen so easily due to human error.

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Good on Tamati Coffey and all who protest against using our marine sanctuary for petroleum exploration.

The sight of Mr Bridges punching the air in the Parliament corridors says it all.

I was under the impression that when you stood for your electorate, you worked for your community and those people were your main concern.

Does Mr Bridges really hold any credibility in his electorate? What has he actually done in a practical way for the people of the Tauranga area?

He is confident that petroleum activity has not caused any harm.

Right - this from the politician that could not even remember the name of or place of one of our National Parks.

Mr Bridges has made New Zealanders hypocrites by putting an endangered species at greater risk while we try and stop Japan from whaling.

The track record (however bad) of petroleum companies sits well with Mr Bridges.

It is all about the mighty dollar, not the environment or people.

Surely the Rena disaster showed what can happen so easily due to human error.

Open your eyes Mr Bridges and see the bigger picture or perhaps the people who can will cast their vote elsewhere and with good reason.


- Trish Coates, Waihi Beach
Reader Fiona McAllister says if Energy and Resources Minister Simon Bridges continues on his stance towards the Maui dolphin, he will lose her vote.

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I have enjoyed what Simon Bridges has had to say over the past few years, and thought he was doing great things for New Zealand and in particular the Bay of Plenty.

However, when it comes to our environment and in particular a precious and severely endangered species, any risk - however small - is too great a risk for our precious dolphins.

Sorry Mr Bridges, but on this issue the dolphins come first and if you continue with your current stance, you'll lose my vote.

Time you thought about it through the eyes of the dolphin (like walking in another man's shoes - how would you feel if someone came and drilled in your backyard? What would you do next?

If you think it won't have an effect on the dolphins you're wrong and I don't expect we'll see you out there helping them back to sea when they beach themselves in an effort to get rid of the constant noise in their heads.

If this happens then their extinction will be entirely on you.

What a legacy and shame to leave our country.

- Sandy Toomer, Tauranga