Will there be af­ter­shocks?

Central Leader - - OPINION -

A seis­mic-like tremor was felt across the isth­mus af­ter this col­umn re­ported Auck­land’s notso-su­per-city’s sup­port for oil drilling off the coast.

Now th­ese abridged let­ters were among a higher than nor­mal tsunami of mail:

‘‘I was born in the Shetland Is­lands north of Scot­land in 1946.

‘‘We lived in a coun­cil (state) two bed­room house look­ing over the sea, where storms blew out win­dows and two doors leaked badly.

‘‘The coun­cil had no money for re­pairs.

‘‘We dug peat from the hill­side, dried, bagged and stacked it for win­ter fuel. I chopped beach driftwood for the fire.

‘‘If Fa­ther had a spare 10 shillings, he bought a bag of coal.

‘‘Then North Sea was dis­cov­ered.

‘‘Oil ex­plo­ration could ex­ist along­side fish­ing and fish farm­ing, main in­dus­tries in Scot­tish and Nor­we­gian waters. Nor­way with a pop­u­la­tion of about three mil­lion and a long, rugged coast­line soon had oil rigs in her waters.

oil ‘‘Bri­tain fol­lowed suit. ‘‘At the height of the boom about 36 rigs worked in Bri­tish and Nor­we­gian sec­tors of the North Sea.

‘‘Well-paid work in the oil in­dus­tries ap­peared in ports along the Bri­tish ports from Shetland to Great Yar­mouth.

‘‘To­day, the Shetland Is­lands have the high­est stan­dard of liv­ing in Great Bri­tain, thanks to North Sea oil.

‘‘No leaky houses, no un­em­ploy­ment.

‘‘An oil fund from oil rev­enue peaked at £700 mil­lion and is now £100 plus mil­lion for the ben­e­fit of Shetland’s pop­u­la­tion.

‘‘The Nor­we­gians’ oil com­pany, Sta­toil, ex­tracted oil in an ex­tremely pro­fes­sional man­ner and ben­e­fits have been im­mense to a coun­try sim­i­lar to New Zealand, three mil­lion peo­ple, and a long coast­line.

‘‘Pro­test­ers

should re­search the his­tory of Nor­way, its oil in­dus­try, the ben­e­fits to pop­u­la­tion and in­fra­struc­ture from 1970.’’ – Gor­don B Smith ‘‘I agree whole­heart­edly with you. A 12 mile limit on drilling and fish­ing is needed to help save the dol­phins.

‘‘But I some­how doubt if that will be done in time to save them, es­pe­cially un­der this gov­ern­ment and coun­cil.’’ – Ana A Squire ‘‘I am writ­ing in ab­so­lute out­rage af­ter your col­umn.

‘‘I am 25 and have lived in Man­gere Bridge all my life. I have never been so deeply an­gered and up­set about our gov­ern­ment.

‘‘When did New Zealand de­cide to be­gin sell­ing our­selves to the po­ten­tially high­est bid­der like a group of mer­ce­nary thugs for a lit­tle ex­tra cash, los­ing our love and our pride in our beau­ti­ful land, the peo­ple who live here, and the count­less species of ma­rine and mam­mal life that would (with­out any doubt) per­ish if the plan back­fired?

‘‘In a geo­ther­mal coun­try with scores of magma tun­nels and fault lines al­ready out of kil­ter and they want to do risky things like drilling that might make mat­ters worse!

‘‘Look at Christchurch, coun­cil­lors, and then try to tell us that this is a good idea.’’ – Su­san Ruth Wil­son ‘‘You’ve con­ve­niently turned a blind eye to long queues of anx­ious peo­ple at petrol sta­tions, car­less days and high fuel prices of yes­ter­year.

‘‘Opec cer­tainly had us over a bar­rel and there was noth­ing we could do about it.

‘‘All be­cause we took the oil sup­ply for granted with­out both­er­ing to ex­plore or find our own. Ben­e­fits risks.’’ – Mark Miller ‘‘Thank you so much for alert­ing us to Auck­land Coun­cil’s ap­palling ap­proval of oil drilling with lit­tle or no con­sul­ta­tion.

‘‘The en­vi­ron­men­tal risks are ‘of high con­se­quence’ should any­thing like what hap­pened in the Bay of Mex­ico oc­cur here. Then there are the Maui’s dol­phins.

‘‘We cer­tainly need peo­ple like you to keep us in­formed of is­sues that oth­er­wise go un­der the radar.’’

– He­len and Pa­trick Do­herty

far

out­weigh

Photo: PHILLIPA KARN

Drilling protest: Ma­ti­a­tia boaties show their sup­port for the na­tion­wide protest against deep sea oil drilling by US oil gi­ant An­darko. What do you think? Email pat.booth@fair­fax­me­dia. co.nz

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