Womad sponsor leaked Benzene into groundwater

A sponsor of the international Womad festival leaked benzene, ethylbenzene and xylene into ground water in New Zealand.

Fracking company Shell Todd found the chemicals under storage pits at its site in Taranaki. Todd Energy sponsored one of the main music stages at Womad New Zealand 2012. Shell was also a major sponsor.

The company denies it leaked the chemicals but a Taranaki Regional Council report (p36 onwards) shows water contamination at the Kapuni site where fracking had occurred.

Benzene, ethylbenzene and xylene are all commonly associated with hydraulic fracturing.

A Shell Todd fracking site at Taranaki, New Zealand. Benzene was found in groundwater under storage pits at a similar site.

Critics of Womad’s sponsorship policy have been banned from the company’s New Zealand facebook page.

In a statement on its website, Womad said “Currently the WOMAD management team are in New Zealand for the festival and are discussing the issues raised with our local partners.”

A Facebook page called “Boycott Womad” has been set up to encourage people to avoid the event.

A Womad NZ flyer from 2011. Note sponsors Todd Energy and Shell










The Womad website continues: “Without sponsors like Shell and Todd, the fact of the matter is that without their generosity, there would be no Womad festival.”

Perhaps Womad should reflect that without paying customers there would be no festival either.

Addendum: Taranaki Regional have repeatedly tried to gloss over the perils of fracking. Read more here.

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