Government inaction compounds jet fuel crisis

The revelation that airlines flying out of Auckland in the busy pre-Christmas period might need to ration jet fuel highlights the Labour Government’s incompetence in regulation, National’s spokesperson for Energy and Resources Stuart Smith says.

“Last night it was revealed that the importation of a bad shipment of aviation fuel may disrupt jet fuel deliveries to Auckland Airport.  At a time where passengers are already facing disruptions due to a lack of airline and airport staff, this is another blow for Kiwis trying to travel for the festive season.

“Before Marsden Point closed, the Government should have acted to make better provisions for fuel security. Now it’s been caught out and New Zealanders trying to get home for Christmas may pay the price of the Government’s inability to get things done.

“For more than a year, the Government has talked about increasing the required number of days of on-shore fuel stockholdings, but done nothing.

Since the Marsden Point refinery closed earlier this year, meaning that New Zealand now imports only refined fuel, Energy Minister Megan Woods has known that security of fuel supply was at greater risk.

“As of last night, New Zealand has only nine days of on-shore jet fuel stockholding, and that supply will dwindle every time a plane is filled up.

“Megan Woods needs to own this, and tell New Zealanders who want to go overseas or around New Zealand to see their loved ones, why their flight might be disrupted when this situation might have been avoided.”