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27 November 2012
Fracking fine Federated Farmers
The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment’s (PCE) hydraulic fracturing investigation could reduce unease over
“Federated Farmers has kept an eye on the PCE investigation given land-based minerals exploration can often occur on or
near to farmland,” says Anders Crofoot, Federated Farmers energy spokesperson.
“From what I have seen in the PCE’s interim report, she has taken a considered look at fracking. While hydraulic
fracturing has been used in New Zealand since 1989, controversy has really only ignited over the past two years, if you
excuse the pun.
“From agriculture’s perspective, we are most interested in land access issues and compensation. As well as what risks
the technique may pose to ground and surface water.
“The PCE found the distance between where fracking occurs and aquifers can be as much as one to two kilometres. There
are shallower fracks and I guess this underscores why the PCE recommends a watching brief.
“The PCE however believes that while contamination of ground or surface water is possible, the probability “is very
“After reading the PCE’s report, I can say that Federated Farmers feels more comfortable with the technique.
“The PCE stresses we frack well in New Zealand but describes regulation and oversight as “labyrinthine“. Clearly, there
is a role for Government to ensure regulations are fit for purpose.
“Mining and minerals are important contributors to the economy and employment. Along with agriculture and utilities,
mining is one of the few areas where we outperform Australia in terms of productivity,” Mr Crofoot concluded.