The Otago Regional Council's ability to take a position on
oil and gas exploration off Otago's coast may be restricted
by having to consider future resource consents related to the
Tomorrow, the council will consider a request by Cr Gerry
Eckhoff that it ''endorses [in principle] the exploration for
oil and gas off the Otago coast''.
Chief executive Peter Bodeker, in a report to the council,
said he had sought a legal opinion on whether it was legal or
desirable to take a position on oil and gas exploration.
The legal opinion stated taking a position would not be
lawful due to changes made to the Local Government Act
''The opinion states that as the ORC may be required to
consider aspects of oil and gas production under a future RMA
[Resource Management Act] consideration, taking a position
one way or the other may preclude the council or its
councillors from being able to take part in future
considerations of this matter.''