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Greenpeace’s unlawful protest on the Skandi Atlantic in Timaru is misguided and misleading, National’s Energy and Resources spokesperson Jonathan Young says.

“The drilling being undertaken by the vessel is not for oil as Greenpeace is claiming. It is to unlock further natural gas reserves in a field that has been producing safely in New Zealand for over 50 years

“The Government’s ill-advised oil and gas ban has meant that New Zealand’s dependence on imported coal instead of natural gases has increased, raising emissions in the process.

“Greenpeace is trying to push natural gas exploration and production out of New Zealand, but these actions will only increase our dependence on imported coal and raise electricity prices.

“Natural gas keeps the lights on for New Zealand when our renewable generation isn’t able to.

“Wholesale electricity prices have already increased by an average of 60 per cent this year, mostly on the back of uncertainty of natural gas supply to electricity generators.

“National supports peaceful and lawful protest, but does not support boarding a vessel and impeding its lawful activities. I thank the police for responding immediately and expect them to uphold the law, while assuring the safety of all on board the Skandi Atlantic.”

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