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Labour hypocrisy on resource development

Hon Simon Bridges

Minister of Energy and Resources
24 June 2014 Media Statement

Labour hypocrisy on resource development

Labour remains confused over whether it supports New Zealand’s oil and gas industry or not, says Minister of Energy and Resources Simon Bridges.

“Last month Labour’s David Parker said the party would not ban the development of oil and gas, but today David Cunliffe said he’s against any exploration in the Marine Mammal Sanctuary off the west coast of the North Island,” Mr Bridges says.

“This is despite the fact that of the 23 wells drilled in the area, 18 were drilled under Labour Governments — 13 of the 18 under the last Labour Government.

“Exploration in this area is not new. In the Taranaki region, conservation efforts and exploration have coexisted since the 1960s.

“The Pohokura gas field which supplies more than 40 per cent of New Zealand’s natural gas is also in the sanctuary. The Government earned more than $200 million in royalties from Pohokura in 2013 alone — royalties that help pay for schools, hospitals, roads and other essential infrastructure.”

Mr Bridges says research shows 95 per cent of threats to Maui dolphins come from fishing-related activities.

“The threat from oil and gas development is extremely small – since oil and gas development began in the Taranaki region in the 1960s, there is no record of the species being harmed by the activity,” Mr Bridges says.

“I’ve come to expect this anti-development, anti-jobs, anti-everything position from the Greens. If the Greens had it their way there would be no exploration at all. Now the Labour Party is turning their back on Taranaki and putting thousands of jobs at risk.”

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