“Last week, the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reaffirmed that we cannot burn known fossil fuel reserves and stay within 1.5°C of warming. To hear that New Zealand is allowing more oil and gas exploration is disturbing indeed but no surprise,” says 350 Aotearoa Executive Director Alva Feldmeier. ”This has always been a fight between the profits of fossil fuel companies, and the health of the planet and communities that oil drilling endangers.” It is clear that these climate criminals are willing to let us burn, in order to profit from more oil and gas. We have stood for decades in resistance to oil corporations, and we continue to stand against their dirty greed.”

Today’s announcement also included the granting of an offshore petroleum exploration permit to Greymouth Gas Turangi after the High Court ordered a reconsideration of its earlier application for a permit.

“Greymouth Petroleum has spent years fighting in the courts against New Zealand’s ban on new oil and gas exploration permits. They will pull every trick in the book to try to continue profiting from more climate-destroying oil. We are seeing the tragic impacts of climate-driven Cyclone Gabrielle and other extreme weather events – and we will do everything to stop these climate criminals.” says Feldmeier.

“The world previously applauded New Zealand’s ban on new oil and gas exploration permits.Now, as the people of Tairāwhiti & Te Matau-a-Māui are inundated by climate-induced Cyclone Gabrielle, this government seems intent on setting fire to its reputation as a climate leader.”

350 Aotearoa, alongside many others, campaigned for years to end offshore oil and gas exploration because of the risk to all life from drilling for new oil and gas, and the possibility of catastrophic oil spills.

“Whānau, hapū and iwi would have no hesitation in saying no to an industry that seeks the destruction of our taonga and future generations. Our governance systems, decision making and leadership are empowered to make good decisions for clean water, healthy communities and a safe climate,” says India Logan-Riley (Ngāti Kahungunu), climate justice organiser at ActionStation.

“Only weeks ago we were smashed by storms that were exacerbated by climate change. 

The government is clearly far away from honouring Te Tiriti o Waitangi and looking after the safety of Aotearoa. Moving forward, legislation and government processes needs to be brought into alignment with Te Tiriti because that is one of the best foundations we can lay for tackling climate change,” says Logan-Riley.

“We are infuriated that more offshore drilling has been allowed after the ban and during the onset of this climate crisis caused by greed for dirty fuels. We will fight them all the way'” says Emily Bailey, spokesperson for Climate Justice Taranaki.