Green Party 'unlikely to meet high resource dev standard'

The Green Party’s proposed "Kiwi bid" against deep sea oil and gas drilling companies will fail because proposals are judged on whether they can explore and extract resources responsibly, Straterra says.

Straterra senior policy analyst Bernie Napp was commenting today on the Green Party’s announcement at the weekend that it will take on resource developers by competing for permits to access Crown-owned resources "to protect the environment".

"The Green Party announcement suggests a simple permitting process, not connected with the Crown Minerals Act. We encourage New Zealanders to obtain the facts for themselves about minerals and petroleum exploration and development in New Zealand," he said. Oil & gas and minerals companies spend millions of dollars in regulatory costs developing robust, high-quality proposals for regulators’ consideration in New Zealand. They must prove their ability to efficiently assess and develop the resource; manage all health and safety, and any effects on, or risks to our environment and heritage.

"Exploration and mining today are cutting edge, high-tech sectors demanding expertise in everything from business management, finance, economics, engineering, geology, chemistry, I.T, planning and law, to environmental management and more. Ours is serious business, and the people who work in it earn high wages to reflect that.

"Resources are still essential to life as we know it. Without petroleum, coal, ironsands, gravel, limestone, or gold, New Zealand would not have enough transport energy, industrial heat, steel, roads, cement, computers or cellphones. Everyday things we take for granted would not exist," Mr Napp says.

Either New Zealand has to produce resources or import them, directly or indirectly, as a component of the manufacture of imported products. Even wind turbines, hydro dams, cars and bicycles are made from minerals, and oil & gas.

"Properly encouraged and managed, the resource sector has growth potential to create new jobs for New Zealanders, work for local suppliers and contractors, as well as payments in royalties, taxes, rates and levies. Surely, a healthy, vibrant, and environmentally-responsible resource sector is in New Zealand’s interests. It is a difficult business, and investors deserve a return on their investment.

"New Zealand is fortunate in having a rich resource endowment - the real issue is how to make best use of it for the economy and society. For our part, the minerals sector looks forward to mature and responsible debate on this topic," Mr Napp says.