Taranaki Energy Watch is continuing their ongoing fundraising for their upcoming Environment court case against South Taranaki District Council’s proposed oil and gas rules.

Sarah Roberts, spokesperson for Taranaki Energy Watch, said they appealed in 2016 and have been fundraising since the first hearing. The appeal filed with the Court includes opposition to seismic surveys using explosives as a permitted activity and support the use of separation distances to avoid risk to health, property and the environment. Stratford District Council, New Plymouth District Council, and representatives of the oil and gas industry have joined the appeal.

“As a grassroots community group, we are thrilled to have raised almost $40,000 from our members and supporters. They are 100% behind us in what we are trying to achieve,” Sarah Roberts said. “In addition we have considerable pro bono support from our legal team and experts for which we are very grateful.

“Energy Watch also received $40,000 from the Ministry for the Environment Legal Assistance Fund. In evaluating our application the Panel stated that while a regional issue it has wider implications in terms of oil and gas exploration and processing and could also be considered a nationally significant issue. They noted the outcome could provide useful case law for other Councils managing the oil and gas industry.

“The money we raise goes directly to pay for our witnesses for the council hearing, appealing the decision to the Environment Court, and the ongoing court process.

“We are continuing to fundraise for the case. Appeals to the Environment Court are very expensive. Further information about what we are doing and how to donate can be found on our website, on Facebook, and our Give A Little page,” said Ms Roberts.

The court case will be held for three days from 19th March ( 20th and 21st) at the Courthouse in New Plymouth and members of the public are welcome to attend.

The Courthouse is on the corner of Robe Street and Powderham Street, New Plymouth.

For further information contact: Sarah Roberts 027 3362611 Taranaki Energy Watch