15 Jul 2013

Research backs fracking moratorium - Greens

12:30 pm on 15 July 2013

The Green Party says international research which suggests large earthquakes can trigger swarms of tremors near fracking sites, strengthens its calls for a moratorium on the oil and gas drilling technique.

An article published in Science magazine has found fracking, which involves forcing large quantities of toxic chemicals into rock, has been accompanied by an increase in quakes that are triggered by distant seismic events.

The mining technique has been practised in New Zealand for 23 years.

Green party energy spokesperson, Gareth Hughes, says the Government cannot ignore the research.

"Given that we've got a number of fault lines in the country, and some we don't know about yet, I think the Government should be doing some proactive research and be putting in place steps now."

Mr Hughes says it is not something the country should be gambling with.

He says 70 wells have been drilled for fracking in New Zealand and there is nothing to stop more mining permits being issued.