Auckland Council urges the government to consider the marine environment next year when it may allocate permits to explore for petroleum.
On October 29 the council approved its submission in response to a government consultation.
In the submission Auckland Council recognises the vulnerability of the Māui dolphin population and importance of the marine environment and is seeking a number of changes to the offer.
Mayor Len Brown says, “I fully support this submission. This is the third time we have made a submission to Government and our position has not changed. We urge caution and seek balances that look to protect our environment. ”
The changes that Auckland Council are seeking include:
- that the government remove any overlap of the block offer release areas with the North Island West Coast Marine Mammal Sanctuary and recommends the areas is at least 12 nautical miles offshore
- that the government continues to require any permits it grants for activities within the sanctuary adhere to the Department of Conservation’s acoustic disturbance code and that this requirement also applies to any activities within 20 nautical miles of the sanctuary’s seaward boundary.
Auckland Council is also seeking the application of the highest international standards to ensure that risks of oil spills and other discharges are minimised.