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Operation Good Oil Report On Marsden Refinery Closure

The Outdoors & Freedom Party welcomes the report by Operation Good Oil, and hopes that the Government takes notice and moves to reinstate our fuel sovereignty and security. The report highlights the lack of duty of forward planning for local or global catastrophes. It exposes a Government that isn’t performing future strategic planning for the good of this nation, instead allowing the destruction of our vital infrastructure. The OGO report has Outdoors and Freedom Party Board deeply concerned about this short-sighted Government believing that nothing could possibly go wrong and if they just leave everything to ‘the free market’ all will be well.

The report mirrors many of our concerns, so we’ll highlight just a few discussed in the report.

Leaving our fuel allocation to the vagaries of the market and petropolitics means that, in a worst case scenario, this vital energy source could be cut off. NZ would ‘go under’ and kiwis would be starving in a matter of days to weeks. A minor example of this has actually already happened – there is an account of a fuel tanker bound for New Zealand being diverted to Australia because Australia offered a higher price for the shipment. And there are rumours in the trucking industry of imminent diesel shortages.

New Zealand has totally lost her capability for fuel self-sufficiency which ensures we are at the mercy of rapacious petrochemical corporations. This Government has reported inaccurately the amount of fuel we are able to produce for ourselves. Megan Woods, stated that NZ could only produce and refine 2-3% of our requirement, by which she implied that it was not worth having. However, the experts are clear that we can produce and refine up to 20% of our fuel needs. In an emergency situation, this would be adequate to maintain farming and food supplies and emergency use and definitely worth having.

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There are already concerns around availability, cost and quality of bitumen. Government agency, Waka Kotahi has been attempting to ensure adequate supply of bitumen being imported for its roading requirements. Loss of this crucial product from the refinery makes us vulnerable to overseas markets and increasing cost, again as the New Zealand dollar value goes down, the cost of buying from overseas goes up. There are concerns that low quality overseas bitumen is the reason our road surfaces are disintegrating so quickly after sealing.

Our Party is alarmed about the inevitable increasing costs of fuel which will roll into all other aspects of the economy, increasing the cost of food production, travel and all business operations and be another driver of inflation. With the NZ dollar currently at a very low value against the US dollar, we assume that the price of fuel in New Zealand will be increasing again soon. If we had at least some of our own fuel, we could mitigate some of the issues of a fluctuating exchange rate.

How in the world have we let ourselves get into this position? Australia believes that fuel sovereignty is vital and has agreed to pay its last two oil refineries up to A$2.3 billion to keep its plants open. While we don’t believe we need to subsidise oil companies (The Outdoors & Freedom Party are utterly opposed to corporate welfare) we know that when private enterprise fails to deliver on vital infrastructure, the state will need to take back control of our strategic resources for the long term self-sufficiency and safety of our people.

This Government shut down oil and gas exploration and sat by and watched the destruction of our single refinery. As much as the Govt would like for us to all go ‘green’; for the foreseeable future we are still reliant on crude oil for every level of our society but particularly for food production and transportation and defence of our waters. Not refining here does not change the issues around pollution.

This Government has positioned ideology over reality and practicality, which is putting our state and its people in a very vulnerable position. To our party, it appears elected officials and public servants are intentionally undermining our capacity for self-sufficiency and autonomy.

The Outdoors & Freedom Party strongly urges the New Zealand Government to show concern for the future of our country, instead of for multi-national corporations, and commence the work of reinstating the Marsden Point refinery. Jacinda Ardern seems to think we can run our vehicles on kindness and sunshine, but the O&F Party knows we will need fuel security for a long time to come. The Outdoors & Freedom Party cannot stand back and watch our country be put in such a vulnerable position, so if elected to parliament in 2023, we will be working on getting our refinery back up and running. And if we are not elected, we will be working on getting our refinery back up and running.

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