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Cullen: Kupe gas - a vote of confidence

Cullen: Kupe gas - a vote of confidence

The government's delighted at the decision of the Kupe gas field partners to proceed with a near billion dollar development of the field. This helps secure our energy future.

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The government is obviously delighted at the decision of the joint venture partners to proceed with the Kupe Gas Project. New Zealand's energy future depends upon maintaining investment in a diverse portfolio of energy sources, and oil and gas have a vital role to play in that future energy mix.

The development of the Kupe Gas Project now sees it become an important part of that mix.

Today's announcement is to be welcomed on a number of accounts:

·It will reduce the uncertainty over future energy supply caused by the downwards revision of the estimates for the Maui gas reserves.

·It gives a strong signal to investors that New Zealand's energy challenges can be resolved and are being met.

·It is a billion dollar vote of confidence in the New Zealand economy, and another signal that the current slowdown is very much a soft landing, with a return to higher growth rates in prospect.

·It is obviously a major boost to the South Taranaki economy. It will bring additional engineering and construction jobs to the region starting almost immediately, and it ensures that energy will continue to be a mainstay of the regional economy for many years to come.

·Finally, it gives the lie to those who are trying to portray New Zealand's planning regulations as an insurmountable obstacle to new investment. It reminds us that New Zealand continues to score highly on international comparisons of the ease of doing business.

I am aware that a great amount of work has gone into the development so far, by the joint venture partners and other parties such as the South Taranaki District Council. On behalf of the government I heartily welcome this announcement, and trust that it will prove a profitable venture for all concerned.

Thank you.


ENDS

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