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Fracking Cheal Road drilling sites and storageThe Government has given oil companies the green light for more drilling and hydraulic-fracturing on the East Coast and in Taranaki.

Many believe that if the exploration is successful, it could result in an oil boom that could be an economic game changer for New Zealand.

But for many of those living close to the drilling sites, it’s not just the rocks far below the earth's surface that stand to be fractured, but their communities and way of life too.

Radio New Zealand’s rural reporter, Benedict Collins, considers the debate surrounding drilling and fracking in rural communities.

Image: Cheal Rd drilling site in Taranaki