Mayor says report justifies city's frack-free status

9:40 pm on 28 November 2012

Mayor Bob Parker says a report from the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment on fracking justifies his council's decision to make Christchurch New Zealand's first frack-free city.

Fracking involves pumping fluids under pressure into rocks underground to expand cracks and get at trapped pockets of oil or gas.

The report found the extraction process caused only small earthquakes and was safe provided that it was properly regulated.

Mr Parker says the South Island city has experienced 12,000 aftershocks in the past two years and does not need to open its doors to a process which might make the situation worse.

He says Christchurch's frack-free status is largely symbolic, as the council has little say over whether fracking takes place in the region, but welcomes greater regulation.