Taranaki Energy Watch (TEW) is a long-standing grass roots community-based group. The group focuses on supporting local communities to protect their health and the environment from the effects of oil and gas exploration and production including fracking in Taranaki and New Zealand. Sarah Roberts is the spokesperson for TEW and has been actively involved in raising public awareness on these issues for several years.
There are serious concerns from oil and gas exploration and production next to people’s homes and communities. Contamination and health and safety issues have been publicly reported. This website has been set up to provide information on oil and gas activities in Taranaki (and New Zealand) and the associated regulation and monitoring regime.
The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment investigated the environmental oversight and regulation of oil and gas activities in New Zealand. The PCE’s report did not give a big tick for the industry or the regulators and recommended a National Policy Statement to give clear direction to local authorities; allow for public involvement; and develop technical and environmental standards. This has not occurred. In the absence of national direction the local councils provide the rules.
TEW provides legal information to individuals and communities outlining their rights to protect their families and properties from the effects of oil and gas activities. The group lobby, submit and contest regularly on local and central government petroleum regulation. TEW has engaged specialists who provide expert advice in ensuring communities are safe beside these industries.