Taranaki Regional Council has advised its staff to limit the time they spend on responding to queries from a specific trio of anti fracking protesters.
The trio, Sarah Roberts, David Morrison and Michael Self, have been described by TRC as being "mischievous and plainly vexatious" in their making of complaints and allegations regarding the monitoring of fracturing activities within the region.
Sarah however, states "we have raised legitimate concerns. They are not vexatious."
The recommendation to staff was made via a memorandum on the agenda for the consents and regulatory committee meeting held last week Tuesday. The memorandum also reported on TRC's response to the recent claims and queries made by the trio. Councillor Maxwell clarified that the TRC would behave professionally and would always review queries received. This being confirmed, the recommendation was then passed without further discussion, with all present being in favour of the decision that any future queries from the trio would be acknowledged and filed.
In response to this, Sarah told the Stratford Press; "We do not purposefully look for problems, we will continue to still submit queries as they arise".
Earlier this year, councillors at Stratford District Council agreed to a recommendation before its policy and services committee to consider the forwarding of a report on Fracking, Consultation and Monitoring to Sarah Roberts as its "final explanation" on the subject. Sarah points out that "their 'final answer' was specifically relating only to the consenting process" and that the SDC did vote in favour of asking the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment to investigate fracking.
Fracking is an abbreviation of the term hydraulic fracturing, a process that involves the injecting of water, sand and chemicals at high pressure into oil or gas reservoirs to crack open rock, thus boosting petroleum flow.
It has been used in the Taranaki region since the early 1990s. An official investigation into fracking is being undertaken by the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, Dr Jan Wright and is due before the end of this year.