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Auditor-General will not inquire into fracking operations in Taranaki

31 August 2012

After a petition was hosted on the website www.change.org on 25 July 2012, the Auditor-General received a number of requests to investigate concerns about regulating and monitoring of drill sites, production stations, hydraulic fracturing (fracking) operations, and land farms in the Taranaki region.

The Auditor-General has decided not to inquire into this matter for the reasons set out below.

As the public sector auditor, the Auditor-General focuses on financial, governance, management, and organisational issues. All inquiry requests are therefore assessed to see if they raise systemic issues of this kind and involve questions of significant public interest.

The concerns raised in the petition are predominantly environmental.

In March 2012, the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment announced an official investigation into fracking in New Zealand. As the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment has the technical knowledge and legislative mandate to conduct a thorough investigation of this contentious issue, a further inquiry by the Auditor-General is neither necessary nor an effective use of public money.

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