11 Aug 2010

Govt wants central regulation of oil operations

7:47 am on 11 August 2010

Environment Minister Nick Smith says small councils are not capable of regulating offshore oil and gas operations so a national regulator should step in.

Dr Smith says local bodies such as the Marlborough District Council, which are having to give consents to drilling projects, don't have the necessary expertise.

He wants the recently created Environmental Protection Authority to take over consenting and regulating from the coast to the end of the exclusive economic zone.

Taranaki Regional Council resource management director Fred McLay says it has regulated the industry off its coast successfully for 30 years, and, if anything, its jurisdiction should be expanded.