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Budget 2006: Securing our energy future

Hon Steve Maharey
Minister for Science and Research

Hon Harry Duynhoven
Associate Minister of Energy

Securing our energy future

Budget 2006 significantly increases funding to help secure New Zealand's future energy needs.

Additional funding has been allocated for energy research and a programme aimed at encouraging exploration by oil companies, Ministers announced today.

"The Labour-led government recognises the importance of a well-functioning energy sector for the continued transformation of New Zealand into an innovative, high value and export-led economy," Associate Energy Minister Harry Duynhoven said.

"Our two main aims are to maintain a reliable and robust supply of energy at fair and affordable prices; and to limit the impact of the energy sector on our environment, both locally and globally.

"The Budget provides an additional $6 million to the $15 million already allocated to the geotechnical data acquisition programme across prospective petroleum basins to encourage more petroleum exploration by oil companies.

"This follows the success of the 2004 programme which opened up the Northland, Outer Taranaki and East Coast Basins to exploration. This new funding will enable more geotechnical data to be acquired, and will also fund some additional survey work," Harry Duynhoven said.

Research, Science and Technology Minister Steve Maharey said $11.7 million in new funding would be invested over four years in energy research.

"This new energy research funding will assist New Zealand to move toward a more sustainable energy future so we can more effectively respond to pressures on energy supplies and security."

In particular, the research will be aimed at assisting New Zealand to:
• More fully understand our indigenous energy resources and opportunities, in particular using renewable energy resources;
• Develop new energy technologies, and be better placed to adapt and adopt new overseas technologies, for use in New Zealand;
• Understand and implement opportunities to use energy more efficiently in homes and businesses.

These initiatives sit alongside other ongoing streams of work, including the National Energy Strategy. Terms of reference for consultation on the development of the strategy are to be released shortly.

ENDS

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