A long-awaited report on fracking from the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment will support the use of the gas extraction practice, Radio New Zealand understands.
Dr Jan Wright will release her findings on Tuesday afternoon.
Fracking has been used in New Zealand for 20 years. The practice involves pumping fluids underground to expand cracks and get at trapped pockets of gas.
Previous international studies have suggested the method can trigger earthquakes and mud volcanoes, and can contaminate drinking water.
Radio New Zealand has been told Dr Wright will reject that and say fracking can, and does, operate safely in New Zealand.
However she will suggest that tighter regulations within the industry would be useful. Dr Wright will give details on proposed regulations when her full report is released next year.
"Fracking can, and does, operate safely in New Zealand." Let's by all means tighten regulations to ensure that there is no ongoing harm, but fracking has essentially been given a clean bill of health by Dr Wright, an independent public servant appointed to her role by Labour in 2007.
The Greens thrive when they have causes to advance, and fracking was one of those causes. The Greens' front-person on fracking was Gareth Hughes, and he has flown the length and breadth of Aotearoa stirring up support for his and the Greens' cause. One can only speculate as to the size of his carbon footprint with all the fossil fuels consumed to get him to and from his destinations. It must be larger than Ronald McDonald's! We just Googled "Gareth Hughes fracking" and came up with 12,900 results. Today's expected announcement from Dr Wright will be a body-blow to the Greens and their youthful MP.
We are fortunate that New Zealand is mineral and gas-rich. We are less fortunate that a small but vocal minority opposes every effort to extract those minerals and gases from the land and sea. The release of Dr Jan Wright's report on fracking today is a very welcome development, even if it likely to produce calls from Gareth Hughes and his fellow MP's for an inquiry into the inquiry.