Two newsletters arrived last week followed up by two circulars to Tikorangi residents – well, one letter and one memo. The difference in style between *our* two petrochem companies operating here is pretty stark.
But it is the list of current activities that is scary.
1) Construction of Kowhai C site. That is the site that this community spoke up and said we did not want so our District Council helped Greymouth Petroleum by consenting it in secrecy and not addressing community concerns, including Otaraua Hapu whose rohe that site is in. Greymouth did not even acknowledge this community’s concern.
2) Roadworks related to Kowhai C site.
3) Pipeline construction.
4) Drilling rig is coming in to Kowhai C site starting October 26 (‘approximately’ 75 truck movements).
5) A workover is coming to Kowhai A site. This presumably involves a workover rig.
6) Roadworks to the Turangi A, B and C sites.
7) Work is apparently going to start on Ohanga B site shortly. Epiha A is already constructed and presumably ready to drill. Urenui A is apparently planned. Turangi C is not yet constructed. There is talk of extensions to Kowhai A site.
Then if we add in Todd Energy’s activities:
8) Fracking and flaring on Mangahewa C site
9) Site works on Mangahewa E site
10) Still more construction of infrastructure facilities on Mangahewa C starting in November.
11) Mangahewa Expansion Train 2 (MET2) construction continuing at McKee.
12) Pipeline construction (includes using a helicopter).
13) Roadworks on Otaraoa Road to improve access to McKee.
14) The rig was moved out of Mangahewa C site over the past few weeks. This involved many heavy loads and a small matter of an oil spill last week (right along our two road boundaries here, in fact).
Permanent tanker movements continue from most sites and from McKee. All of these activities generate noise and heavy traffic.
All year we have been trying to convince New Plymouth District Council that they must address cumulative effects when a range of petrochemical activities are taking place at the same time. But nothing has happened and in the meantime the activity ramps up further.
Tikorangi is apparently the most heavily explored and developed petrochemical area in the country. It used to be a highly desirable and charming little rural community. Now it is reeling. And still more is planned.
Is Tikorangi to be the blueprint for other areas, given this government’s belief that salvation lies in oil and gas development?