A look at how Taranaki manages oil and gas exploration reaffirms Hawke's Bay isn't ready to handle a similar industry likely to emerge in the region over the next couple of years.
But the region's lack of preparedness isn't enough for it to refuse any resource consent applications for oil and gas exploration, should one be submitted to the Hawke's Bay Regional Council.
The council's resource manager Iain Maxwell visited Taranaki in April to see how regulatory rules were applied to oil and gas companies operating in the North Island, west coast region.
Mr Maxwell presented a summary of Taranaki's "mature regime" managing consents for oil and gas to the council's environment committee on Wednesday.
Councillor Neil Kirton said the report showed there were still "a bunch of questions" unanswered especially around the issue of waste disposal and spills from mining.
"There is a lot of work to be done to say we are ready or prepared and as a result we should defer consideration to receive an consents [for oil and gas exploration] until we know that we have the capacity in-house," Cr Kirton said
But councillor Christine Scott said the report did not suggest the council could defer consents.
"This paper is from a staffer following up on a direction we gave him towards looking at a recognised regional approach to handling consents," Cr Scott said.
"It doesn't suggest that the local conditions aren't explored, they are through the RMA (Resource Management Act)."
Cr Kirton had earlier asked Mr Maxwell about what he had learnt of Taranaki's regulatory approach to the "disposal of any radioactive waste" as a result of mining.
"We've heard that there are fluids in the mud which have radio active traces in them," Cr Kirton said.
Mr Maxwell said it was not something he discussed during his one day visit.
"What I looked at was the physical operation of how they stored and disposed of material in stages, from the site, into storage puts and on to the land," Mr Maxwell said.
Mr Kirton said he understood there had been 12 breaches of consents in Taranaki over the past year, in relation to "unexpected spills".
"Can you say that they regularly expect there to be breaches and spills and they are managed after than event robustly?" Cr Kirton said.
Mr Maxwell said the Taranaki Regional Council did not accept there should be any breaches of consent conditions.
"I don't think the council at Taranaki accepts that there will be breaches but anticipates they may be some and have methods to respond when and if there are spills," Mr Maxwell said.