2 May 2014

Public meeting on oil drilling held

7:44 am on 2 May 2014

People at a Government public meeting about oil drilling say they left with more questions than ever.

The four-hour information session on Thursday night at Araiteuru Marae in Dunedin follows a controversial drilling programme by Anadarko early this year.

The 50 people who attended asked many questions of the six government agencies that regulate the oil and gas sector.

Chief executive of the Environmental Protection Authority, Rob Forlong, says the Dunedin attendees were very well informed.

"I thought it would all be about more technical issues, how we regulated things, but people had a very broad view and wanted to know about all the thinking behind the regulation of oil and gas, and even government policy."

The discussions covered the effects of seismic surveys on marine life, how much money has been spent attracting international companies, and how the search for oil fits with climate change.

Many who attended say the meeting, while useful, raised new questions for them.

Five similar sessions are planned for North Island towns.