The Exclusive Economic Zone: for sale

In which the government invites anyone who can pay enough into our offshore marine environment. The Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf (Environmental Effects) Bill does not "protect and preserve" the environment. It states its price

TAG Oil is very excited. It wants to turn the East Coast of the North Island – “literally leaking oil and gas”!! – into the “Texas of the south”, hosting thousands of oil wells.

If you thought that the EEZ Bill, currently before select committee, would be a major weapon in the government’s armoury to protect this unique and extensive environment – if you believed what responsible Minister Dr Nick Smith has said – you were wrong.

Each country’s EEZ stretches from its coast to out to 200 nautical miles. New Zealand’s marine environment, which also includes the continental shelf, is 23 times bigger than our land environment. The EEZ Bill is supposed to protect it. However, it has what, according to the very charitable interpretation of the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment (PCE), can only be a “serious error”.

The Bill is, all on its own, an environmental risk.


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