Auckland Council votes against deep sea drilling

The new Auckland City Council should have many important issues to deal with, like transport, housing, trying contain rampant rates rises.

But they took time out from council business yesterday to make a political statement.

NZ Herald: Auckland Council votes against deep sea oil drilling

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.

So a city council is voting against a national Government matter.

I don’t think Auckland City has many suburbs in the deep sea. I don’t think they even have any special housing areas proposed for deep sea locations.

The encroachment of political activism into city administration seems to be a growing thing – unlike deep sea drilling which is hardly a pressing issue, around New Zealand it is on the back burner anyway.