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PM’s visit little comfort for Taranaki

The Prime Minister’s visit today will be of little comfort to Taranaki people concerned about the future of their jobs and their region following the Government’s oil and gas decision, National’s Energy and Resources Spokesman Jonathan Young says.

“The Prime Minister’s vague talk about a summit and some cash handouts is completely inadequate next to the 8000 high-paying jobs that are currently provided by our petroleum industry,” Mr Young says.

“The Prime Minister talks about a just transition. Well there is nothing just about the way Taranaki and the oil and gas sector have been treated by her Government.

“All the people I’ve spoken to say she should have visited the province and talked to the industry and the locals before she made her decision, not afterwards.

“New industries are important but they should be in addition to our petrochemical industry. Tourism jobs won’t replace the incomes of our engineering and oil and gas sectors.

“The decision is also bad for New Zealand’s economy and its energy security.

New PEPANZ information today shows New Zealand’s current gas reserves are thinner than assumed, and the Government’s off shore oil decision will have a rapid impact on NZ’s energy security.

“According to the report supply at the important P2 level of confidence will start to fall below current demand as early as next year.

“The report also debunks the Government’s repeated statement that there is plenty of currently permitted areas available for exploration. It points out that because of the rate of expiry of permits, the area available decreases rapidly over the next few years.

“The energy sector has told the Prime Minister that her decision on oil and gas exploration will risk New Zealand’s energy security. She needs to listen to the experts who know.

“National will overturn the Government’s cavalier decision to ban oil and gas exploration in Taranaki. The Prime Minister should too.”

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