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More oil extravagance from National exposed

More oil extravagance from National exposed

The National Government spent $850,000 to help host a two-day petroleum conference at Sky City last year, it has been revealed.

This follows revelations that National forked out $240,000 for an oil company executive junket in 2011, including $22,000 spent on food and alcohol.

“National seems to have a bottomless slush fund from which to lavish money on big oil. In comparison, it gave the NZ Wind Energy Association $6,000 for its two-day conference earlier this year,” said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman.

“Based on these numbers, the National Government is more than 100 times more committed to pollution than it is to clean energy.

“The amount given to the oil industry also begs the question: what on earth were the oil industry executives at the two day conference doing for it to cost so much?

“Were they eating rock lobster and drinking champagne? And why should the taxpayer have to fund this extravagance?

“The extent of this indulgence shows just how out of touch this Government is with ordinary people.

“It’s offensive to New Zealand families struggling to get by.”

The $240,000 dollars spent on oil executives in 2011 included a lunch catered by Ruth Pretty at the Palliser Estate vineyard, meals at top restaurants Martin Bosley’s and Logan Brown, luxury accommodation, and corporate boxes at the Rugby World Cup.

“Energy Minister Bridges needs to come clean and tell taxpayers exactly how much of their money he’s been splashing about trying to get drilling rigs set up off our coast,” said Dr Norman.

“By ingratiating himself to big oil, the Minister has once again shown he does not care about New Zealand’s beaches, coastlines, environment and wildlife.”

The Green Party announced over the weekend that it would ban deep sea oil drilling in New Zealand.

“Voters have a real choice this election. National and its pollution economy, or the Green Party’s plan for a cleaner, smarter economy, under which our beaches remain open for swimming, not closed for oil spills,” said Dr Norman.

“We will protect our beaches by keeping the deep sea oil genie in the bottle.

“There are cleaner, smarter, ways to achieve a prosperous New Zealand than risking our beautiful beaches.

“New Zealand’s future is in clean energy that creates thousands of new green jobs and protects the things we love,” Dr Norman said.

ends

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