Home' Central Canterbury News : December 12th 2012 Contents 4 CENTRAL CANTERBURY NEWS, DECEMBER 12, 2012
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by report on fracking
ENCOURAGING REPORT: Selwyn
councillor Peter Hill.
A SELWYN councillor who has
tried unsuccessfully to initiate a
moratorium on fracking in the
district is encouraged by an
interim report into the mining
practice from Parliamentary
Commissioner for the Environ-
ment Dr Jan Wright -- despite
her claims it is safe.
Councillor Peter Hill said he
was disappointed the general
findings of the report did not
back up his call for a mora-
torium, but the detail in it gave
him some heart because it high-
lighted concerns about regu-
As an interim report, there is
enough caution expressed to
ensure that the industry con-
tinues to improve its methods,
but a wholesale rush to exploit
our oil and gas resources could
still allow greed to override need
and more control is needed
urgently to protect us from
that,'' he said.
The report said fracking -- or
hydraulic fracturing -- was safe
if it was properly regulated and
managed. But Dr Wright had
significant concerns'' about how
fragmented and complicated the
regulatory environment for frac-
king was, and about how the
rules were applied.
Dr Wright said: If fracking is
not done well it can have signifi-
cant environmental impacts,
including polluting water and
triggering earthquakes. I am
also concerned that regulation
may be too light-handed, par-
ticularly if fracking opens the
door to a large-scale and wide-
spread oil and gas boom with a
lot of different companies
Mr Hill said the oil and gas
industry had dazzled the world
with apparent riches just wait-
ing to be let out and, at the same
time, has implored an ever-
hopeful population to trust us,
we know what we're doing' ''.
Industry methods and the
regulatory rules need to change
to protect the place where we all
He said documents such as
the Proposed Canterbury Land
and Water Plan from the Can-
terbury Regional Council, had
scant reference'' to oil and gas
exploration or detail on explo-
ration and exploitation methods
that would ensure protection of
SOBERING TRIP: Lincoln University's Tim Rusk and Michelle Ruske are in Japan to
tour earthquake- and tsunami-hit areas.
Trip to teach
TWO LINCOLN University students
are in Japan to learn from the effects
of the devastating earthquake and
tsunami of March 2011, and apply
them in their future careers.
Michelle Ruske and Tim Reed are
part of the Kizuna Project, a youth
exchange programme launched by
the Japanese Government.
A New Zealand contingent of 68
headed to the country on Sunday.
Ms Ruske recently completed her
Bachelor of Environmental Manage-
ment and Planning degree.
She and Bachelor of Landscape
Architecture student Mr Reed will
spend just over a week in Japan, tak-
ing in lectures, visiting disaster
areas and meeting people affected by
Both students see the trip as hav-
ing relevance to their chosen fields.
As a planner, the rebuild of
Christchurch will feature heavily in
my future career,'' Ms Ruske said.
I was prompted to apply for the
scholarship knowing that there are
lots of lessons which can be learnt
from Japan's experience post-
Mr Reed said it would be particu-
larly relevant to his studies and
career, especially when thinking
about designs with disaster resili-
ence in mind''.
The students will spend four days
in the badly affected Tohoku region.
Though the goal of the trip is to
promote global understanding of
Japan's revival efforts, it is also used
as an opportunity to increase the
awareness of Japanese culture, so
both students will spend some time
with a homestay family.
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