On Tuesday last week the Dunedin City Council became the fifth local authority in New Zealand to call for a moratorium on fracking, pending results of a nation-wide investigation from the Commisioner for the Environment which is due in November.
But since then one of the National Dunedin based list MPs has gotten a bit worked up about it The decision prompted Mr Woodhouse question in Parliament whether the council was now "equivocal" in its support for possible oil and gas exploration off the city's coast.
"I can't stand by and look the people of Dunedin in the eye and say it's sad what happened to Hillside ... and then turn around to say we are equivocal about oil and gas exploration," he said.
Instead, he threw his support behind oil and gas exploration, saying it would be "great" for the city, and called on others to do the same, "in particular, the Dunedin City Council".
Odd comments... One could have accused the Dunedin City Council of acting cautiously perhaps, given that there are so many unknowns about the fracking process that any reasonable person would seek caution. We have seen evidence offshore of polluted water, massive water wastage, and toxic emissions that have driven people off their property. We have seen the oil industry seeking desperately to promote fracking as it breathes whole new life into an industry with a limited shelf life.
Some disputed claims even go far as to link fracking with small earthquakes.
Hasn't the Dunedin City Council got a responsibility to act in the public safety of its citizens?
And one may have even thought the Government had a duty to ascertain the facts before being so dramatically in favour of anything that requires drilling.