The Government’s resources strategy is high on rhetoric, weak on reality and continues to send a signal to the world that New Zealand is closed for business, National’s Energy and Resources spokesperson Jonathan Young says.
“To call it a ten-year strategy is simply incredulous. If the Government was serious about its long-term implementation they would have consulted with the National Party from the outset to build an enduring framework.
“Instead we’ve been subjected to poorly thought-out policies like the oil and gas ban, which has created an environment where New Zealand businesses and industries have more expensive electricity with higher emissions. And it is only a matter of time before the increased prices hit households as well.
“Over the past two years the Government’s resources policy has led to a more than 600 per cent increase in coal-fired generation, meaning hundreds of thousands more tonnes of CO2 emissions are being pumped into the atmosphere.
“The Government’s belief that banning petroleum exploration is creating a clean, green and sustainable future is simply wrong and continues to be deceptive spin, evidenced by increased emissions.
“As well as that we have the permanent loss of 25 per cent of New Zealand’s offshore permits, which reduces economic opportunities and removes opportunities for New Zealand to switch from coal to lower emission natural gas.
“The ban on new mining on conservation land limits the resources New Zealand needs to grow its wealth and infrastructure as a country. The Government promised a discussion paper on this policy, but it has never seen the light of day.
“The strategy fails to promote the value of the resources sector. It is unbalanced to highlight the need to address society’s evolving expectations but remains passive on the vital economic contribution the resources sector makes to our society.
“We need a strategy that is based on world’s best practice in environmental stewardship, as well as promoting the economic and social opportunities the resources sector offers.”