Guilty for potentially crippling the Dairy industry? Prime Minister John Key, Fonterra, and New Plymouth mayor Andrew Judd.
Fracking, the extraction of natural gases from deep below the earth’s surface, is perhaps one of the most profitable industries in New Zealand’s economy today. As a Taranaki native, I understand the major boom it has supplied the Taranaki region with news jobs and massive profits for local bodies which is in turn able to spend money flow on upgrading roads, parks and council-funded services.
But the catastrophic strain it could be about to unleash on our country’s single largest industry can not be ignored.
We need a frack free future not just to save our earth, but also to save New Zealand’s economy.
A recent parliamentary commissioner report has found the waste from fracking activities are being dumped on Taranaki farms. Grazing cattle in turn feed on these farms and could be contracting some of the dangerous toxins from the waste left behind. The cows are in turn milked by farmers, who give the resulting milk product to Fonterra.
Fonterra ships its dairy products across the globe, generating a huge income for New Zealand and keeping our economy churning. Given the possibility foreign countries we are trading to once again find out of Fonterra’s flawed health and safety rules, it’s likely they’ll react by boycotting all dairy products from being imported to New Zealand.
So, the incompetence of Fonterra, and by our Government to intervene could end up forcing New Zealand to pay the price, and not receive income from our biggest industry.
Fonterra won’t stop importing and trading it’s goods – the money flow is too high. Local bodies won’t cease fracking – the money flow is too high.
There is also no cheap and feasible way to dispose of the gas. Other, than of course, to not extract it in the first place.
Of even more concern, the incompetence of the Government could be resulting in families getting sick from the consumption of Taranaki-produced milk, contaminated by the gas waste. Why the Government has failed to notice this has left you, me and the parliamentary commissioner for the environment lost, confused and angry.
Our very economic future and protection of our largest industry, in fact relies on closing the other.