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Govt trashes NZ reputation, creates $104M losses

Govt trashes NZ reputation, creates $104M losses

The Government has hurt New Zealand’s reputation well beyond the oil and gas sector, and must respond to investors facing $104 million of losses if its exploration ban succeeds, National’s Energy and Resources spokesperson Jonathan Young says.

“The International Association of Geophysical Contractors is the latest in a long list of local and overseas stakeholders who have attempted to explain the real and immediate economic impact of the Crown Minerals (Petroleum) Amendment Bill.

“Since 2013, its members have collected seismic data for some 74,665 square kilometres of New Zealand’s coastal waters. The data is an incredibly important part of New Zealand’s block offer system, which officials have worked hard to keep on the international radar for investors.

“This system has generated substantial revenues for the Crown over the years. The seismic data is gathered with the explicit encouragement of the Government and promoted internationally by officials. Participants would reasonably expect a stable regulatory regime in a modern, Aaa-rated economy that’s trying to woo offshore capital.

“Instead, bad legislation was drafted in a rush by a Government that announced a ban on new offshore oil and gas exploration to get some climate change kudos but hadn’t done the work needed to put New Zealand’s transition to a low-carbon economy into effect.

“As a result we have a Bill that achieves none of the stated objectives. It doesn’t achieve good environmental outcomes. It doesn’t protect the investments of all existing permit holders, it results in substantial economic losses for the Government and the private sector.

“The Bill also deeply undermines New Zealand’s reputation as an investment destination

And is being rammed through by a Government that has blocked its ears and refused to

“It will lead to reduced investment, weaker energy security, higher prices and lost jobs.”

“Shockingly, given the long-term commitment these companies have made to New Zealand, the IAGC has been unable to meet any ministers to discuss this Bill. Both the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister turned down requests to meet and Megan Woods has said she wouldn’t meet them until after the Committee hearings. Too late to be heard.

“What a tardy way to treat stakeholders who have a valid interest in contributing to this discussion. It is emblematic of the whole shoddy process – ignore officials, local government and corporate leaders to ram through a Bill that does nothing for climate change and comes at enormous economic cost.

“It was clear today that the Environment Committee has been the wrong select committee to consider a Bill with major economic ramifications but under the banner of climate change, the Government may have seen an easier passage with less economic probing.

“This Bill is bad law. Meanwhile James Shaw and Todd Muller have been working to build cross-party consensus on climate change.

“New Zealand’s energy needs are complex and shouldn’t be boiled down to political slogans to suit this coalition. A National Government would repeal this ban and take a rational approach to transitioning to a low-carbon economy.”

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