Bishop of Wellington welcomes end to oil and gas exploration

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Opinion: The Government's announcement of ending future offshore Petroleum Exploration Permits comes as a huge disappointment to the Taranaki Chamber of Commerce, the local hydrocarbon industry and majority of the Taranaki Community, writes Arun Chaudhari, CEO Taranaki Chamber of Commerce.

"We strongly agree that climate change is a major issue and we need to reduce net emissions, but this decision will not achieve that", Chaudhari said.

"There will be no further offshore oil and gas exploration permits granted", said Jacinda Ardern.

We share the vision of most Kiwis of living in a country and a world which is sustainable, where clean air, clean water and a pristine environment are not compromised.

His party secured concessions which allowed onshore oil exploration to continue in Taranaki, and the existing 57 exploration and mining permits would remain protected. Not producing in New Zealand simply means other countries will produce it instead and we will have to import it at a higher cost.

She said there would also be limited new on-shore permits around the North Island's Taranaki region, where most of New Zealand industry is concentrated.

"I have spoken to the Minister of Energy Megan Woods and ensured she is clear that we want to know what the plan is to support our people, what the plan is to power our economy, what the plan is to support our businesses, what is the plan to support our communities through this period of transition".

Environmental groups welcomed the move, with Greenpeace declaring "the tide has turned irreversibly against Big Oil in New Zealand".

Ardern was surprised that the oil and gas industry felt blindsided by the new policy, saying that Labour had clearly signalled its intent and had met representatives from the sector.

"This decision is devoid of any rationale".

Mr Jeffries says if new gas supplies are unavailable then coal will continue to be used domestically for purposes such as dairy plants. "These are starting steps to reducing fossil fuel exploration and production of oil and gas in our journey to reducing carbon emissions".

"ECO expects that moves to more renewable energy and more public transport will provide more jobs for New Zealanders than oil and gas exploration and mining which is capital intensive and provides comparatively few jobs compared to a low carbon future".

"Nobody's going to be losing their jobs overnight but in terms of the long-term outlook for those industries. people are going "my career doesn't actually have a future", he told Radio New Zealand.

"Is the government going to put money to help us?"

"We now join the elite club of Belize, Costa Rica and France that have banned exploration".

"But nonetheless this is still a very significant decision and I think it will be globally significant".

"Unless we make decisions today that will essentially take effect in 30 or more years' time, we run the risk of acting too late and causing abrupt shocks to communities and our country", she said at a press conference in Wellington this morning.

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