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Partnership benefits investment and environment

25 August 2005

Partnership benefits investment and environment

The opening of the Future Fuels facility at New Zealand's oil refinery at Marsden Point is the result of the government and business working in partnership says Minister of Transport Pete Hodgson.

The $180 Future Fuels project involved the building of a new plant to produce diesel with sulphur levels ten times lower than those today, and petrol with benzene levels cut by two thirds. This will be a significant benefit for the environment and New Zealanders' health.

"That this investment went ahead in New Zealand, instead of importing cleaner fuels, is the result of the NZRC and this government working together," said Pete Hodgson.

NZRC worked with the government to secure exemptions from the carbon tax in return for moving to worlds best practice in emissions management. By reaching the agreement, the $180 million investment went ahead, the refinery jobs stayed in New Zealand, and emissions are being limited.

"It just goes to show what can be achieved while taking positive action to limit emissions. NZRC has become more efficient, competitive and productive as a result.

"This government is committed to working with business to drive investment. Another example of that is the business tax package announced in this year's Budget. They allow for new depreciation rates that better reflect how assets decline in value and reduce compliance costs for businesses. They apply to assets purchased on or after 1 April 2005, so business does not have to wait three years for tax benefits.

"I'd like to congratulate NZRC on the completion of this project and the leadership it has provided in the business community. The company has worked successfully with government to bring more investment to New Zealand at the same time as taking positive action on climate change."

ENDS

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