Soper on oil and gas exploration ban

Barry Soper climbs into the government: Quote.

One of the leading lights in the oil and gas industry probably best summed it up – they’re going to have trouble encouraging foreign investment to New Zealand if there’s a big sign on the front lawn saying – Not Welcome.

It’s not so much what was done in banning all new exploration permits off our coasts, and there are currently 31 of them, it’s the way it was done.

Minister Megan Woods was like an energiser bunny defending the move saying it was “signposted” widely and should have come as no surprise.

One of the signposts was presumably the Prime Minister coming down from her 9th floor Beehive office a couple of weeks ago to accept an anti exploration petition.

There was no formal discussion with the industry about the Government’s plans, and to make matters worse, Jacinda Ardern turned to cheerleading Wellington university students who’d been trucked in for her to receive the adulation of creating her nuclear moment of this generation – climate change.

It wasn’t cynical she insists, it would have been if she wasn’t going to Taranaki, the pitface of exploration, in a couple of weeks to hear from them.

That’s a bit like putting the cart before the horse which is the mode of transport the hysterical Greens would probably prefer.

But this move sends all the wrong signals to business, this isn’t the way it should be done.

There should have been consultation rather than the sledge hammer approach. End quote.

I can assure the government that vast amounts of money are going to be poured into a hostile and brutal campaign to unseat them now. Quote.

The Greens were beside themselves while New Zealand First, which in the past has defended oil and gas exploration, looked as though they’d prefer to be elsewhere.

Their self proclaimed first citizen of the provinces Shane Jones was forced to take part in a snap debate on the issue, hardly mentioning the decision, but championing climate change skiting about planting a billion trees.

In reality this Government has closed the door on one of our top export earners, employing more than eleven thousand people, most of them in Taranaki where Jones visited last week, doling out twenty million bucks from his three billion dollar Provincial Growth Fund.

That was presumably another signpost for the locals with just $150,000 being spent on clean energy technology.

Oil isn’t just used to fuel our cars, technology sees it being adapted for hundreds of products from tyres to toothbrushes. So this move could end up costing the very people Labour seeks to protect.

And to suggest current permit holders will now all stick around drilling for a product that’s not wanted here would be like establishing a tobacconist in the Beehive.

Megan Woods proudly proclaimed she was wearing a jacket made out of wood yesterday. Visiting Taranaki with the PM shortly surely she’d be safer in an oilskin. End quote.

This government are tone deaf. They’ve launched several thousand inquiries, conversations and working groups, but on this there was nothing. This government are nothing more than slogans. It will hurt them.

It is madness to shut down an industry and hope and pray that someone comes up with something that will enable wholesale replacement of one of the most efficient energy sources we’ve ever known.

When these fools realise that electric cars without subsidies are prohibitively expensive, that the whole power grid will need upgrading in order to charge just a fraction of the electric cars they want used in NZ, at a cost of hundreds of billions of dollars, and that the Cook Strait cable can’t transport enough power to possibly supply the North Island, to replace oil and gas, then they are going to suffocate on those slogans. Even worse is that they will start to realise that the hole in the revenues filling the consolidated fund that is currently filled by the oil industry is going to need plugging somehow and that means tax increases.

Once people work out that this will end their summer BBQs and gas heating there will be an electoral riot.


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story.  And when he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet.   Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet, and as a result he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist that takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him.  But you can’t ignore him.

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