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Minister Insists There's Still Oil to be Found

Minister Insists There's Still Oil to be Found

Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce is continuing to insist petroleum exploration is one of the keys to economic growth in regions like the East Coast.

Speaking on “The Nation”, Mr Joyce said hundreds of millions of dollars would be invested around New Zealand this summer in exploration despite companies like Petrobras pulling out of East Coast offshore exploration because there were not sufficient signs of petroleum to justify further work.

Mr Joyce was defending petroleum exploration in the wake of a Government report published last week on economic development in regional New Zealand.

“Don’t look at us, look at the investors,” he said.

“You’ve got a company drilling exploration holes in the back of Dannevirke right now, and they believe they're putting a very significant investment there. 

“You’ve got hundreds of millions of dollars being invested around New Zealand in the upcoming summer by different exploration firms to see what the opportunities are. 

“So don’t listen to us, listen to those people.”

But Joyce said there was “no single thing” that would bring growth to the regions.

“It's about the infrastructure,’ he said.

“It’s about the ultra- fast Broadband, the rural Broadband, it's about the roading situation, particularly in Northland, that link to Auckland, which is the biggest population just down the road.”

He said skills were also very important.

“We're doing a lot of work making sure that the polytechnics are much more clued into the skill needs of their regions. 

“It's about innovation, primary growth partnership, in all of those agricultural regions is very important. 

“So the focus on just oil and gas, it's just one part of it.”

But Far North District Council Mayor, Wayne Brown, said that though the report contained many good ideas, his Council had not been consulted on it and many of its facts in it were wrong.

“So these are good ideas but we need the ability to challenge some of this stuff<” he said.

“I don’t want somebody in Wellington working away in a building thinking that they get everything they need to know out of here.”

Wanganui District Council Mayor Annette Main agreed with Mr. Brown that there were lots of different threads of the regional development story.

Police Know Who Did It

Former Taupo Police Detective Inspector Rex Hawkins says there are more cold murder cases like Rodney Tahu’s in New Zealand.

Speaking on The Nation this weekend Mr Hawkins, who worked the original Tahu investigation 33 years ago, told Rachel Smalley the Police have always known Menzie Hallett was the murderer, but were unable to successfully prosecute.  

The former top cop says there are other murderers walking free, even though the Police and community know who they are.

“I know of two or three other case in the [Taupo] area, and I’m sure there are dozens over the country, people know who the offenders are. People have had admissions made to them. We saw in this case that there were two people who came forward later on who Hallett had admitted to.

“Now there must be other cases. I can think of Mona Blades and Milton Channings in this area, and others, and I’m sure there are dozens over the country. I just hope there are some people that watch this program that react to that and come forward.”

The former top cop says in the case of Hallett it was incredibly frustrating seeing him walk free, when the community knew he had done it.

“He chose to adopt quite an arrogant attitude of staying in town. He was quite a confident person – who would look you in the eye and smile and walk past. It was not easy,” Mr Hawkins says.

“I think [Rodney Tahu’s family] knew that it wasn’t over. That someday the day of reckoning would come. Which of course has just occurred. It may have taken 33 years but the result was there.”


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