Auditor-general says no to fracking inquiry
Auditor-General Lyn Provost has decided against investigating fracking operations in Taranaki because the concerns are "predominantly environmental".
Hydraulic fracturing – the fracturing of rock to extract natural gas and oil – has proved controversial for New Zealand, with opposition, mainly from the Greens, claiming it poses a huge threat to environmental and human health, not least because of contamination to the groundwater.
The party is calling for an immediate moratorium and says there they are already in place in parts of New South Wales in Australia, the USA, Quebec in Canada and in France.
Opponents want to halt the plan to frack in parts of Canterbury and the east coast of the North Island.
The change.org petition against fracking on July 25, 2012, garnered support from 656 people, with many saying fracking was not the solution.
“No ifs or buts. You can’t predict the cracks and how it will affect the [tectonic] plate,” one respondent wrote.
Following the petition, the auditor-general received a number of requests to investigate the concerns and has now decided not to investigate further.
She says in her result she focuses on financial, governance, management and organisational issues, while these fracking concerns are "predominantly environmental".
Ms Provost has decided instead to leave the investigation up to Commissioner for the Environment Dr Jan Wright, who announced her investigation in March this year.