Written By: - Date published: 9:33 am, April 30th, 2013 - 20 comments
Categories: accountability, capitalism, climate change, Conservation, energy, john key, Metiria Turei, overseas investment, privatisation, slippery, spin, sustainability - Tags:
An Advantage New Zealand conference is happening at the moment at John Key’s favourite conference centre (SkyCity), with major players in the oil and gas industries sharing ideas, and strategies. They are promoting and backing each others’ profit-making enterprises, no matter how destructive to our environment and lives. And as part of the way they work to give themselves public legitimacy, they wine, dine and play golf in expensive surroundings.
With the comprehensive website and cost of the conference and it’s affiliated activities, it’s clear these people back themselves as major players. It certainly indicates a different kind of networks from the kind I know. The conferences I have been to cost nowhere near as much, as this $2000 full delegate deal: a and that’s on top of airfares for overseas delegates and accommodation at SkyCity. these are people with money to burn! And they’ll use it to burn our environment too.
Networking is a favoured strategy of many – nothing unusual there. However, for John Key’s networks of influence are those through which he can connect with the wealthy and powerful in the international corporate worlds. He so far has been seen to favour significant players in finance, entertainment, movie, and big commerce-favouring intellectual property.
The lineup of speakers for the conference includes many significant international players in the oil and gas industries. (See also the lineup of sponsors). They are arguing for the economic gains, and financial safety of their extractive activities. The conference website attempts to make video stars of participants with online videos. Good luck with the mediocre star material of Simon Bridges.
As many know, a lot of the significance of such conferences is in the networking over the refreshment breaks, dinners, and associated activities. The “Social Programme” began on Sunday with a round of golf at the Gulf Harbour Golf Club (cost $150, event sponsored by Greymouth Petroleum) – “golf attire” required, unlike the rest of the social activities that require “business attire”.
This is the sort of occasion that John Key was preparing himself for when he learned to play golf at 10 years old. The promo for the golf day says:
Enjoy the surrounds of Auckland harbour as you take the scenic boat ride and mingle with fellow players over morning tea
Challenge your industry colleagues to an 18 hole round of golf
Interesting that they promote the enjoyment of Auckland’s outdoor, harbour environment, while planning to undermine it. Interesting also that the Gala Dinner requires “business attire/cocktail dress”. Is this because the rest of the conference is largely attended by (white) males? It certainly looks like that from the speaker line-up and videos.
John Key met Ian Fletcher on 12 March 2010 for breakfast at the Hyatt regency, after Fletcher attended an “Open Business Conference” on 10 and 11 March at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Auckland. This was the year before Key shoulder-tapped Fletcher for the job as boss of the GCSB. I wonder if Key will be sounding out any delegates for future jobs, while at the Advantage NZ conference?
There’s already a load of propaganda for the destructive oil and gas industries being generated by or in association with the Advantage NZ conference, and appearing in the MSM. Yesterday RNZ reported:
The Government is to offer up large sections of on and offshore New Zealand for oil and gas exploration. …
Energy and Resources Minister Simon Bridges announced the offer at the Advantage Petroleum Conference in Auckland on Monday.
Mr Bridges said the Government’s plan represents a sensible development of the country’s resources, but it must be done is a safe way.
He said the exploration offer has the potential to provide a solid investment for future generations of New Zealanders.
Prime Minister John Key told the conference the Government supports plans to significantly expand oil and gas exploration and believes the industry could be a game-changer for New Zealand.
This is just one of many MSM reports in the last couple of days, promoting the planned exploration for oil and gas as being safe and potentially lucrative.
Yesterday, the Green Party warned, that the government is endangering Auckland’s west coast beaches:
The Green Party is condemning the Government for announcing the tender process today for new permits to conduct exploratory deep sea drilling in New Zealand waters off the west coast of the North Island and the East Coast of the South Island. Much of the area is in deep water.
“The Government is putting the economic interests of the oil companies over the environmental values of the people of New Zealand,” said Mrs Turei.
Today Labour’s Moana Mackey and Greenpeace’s Steve Abel expressed their opposition to the government’s dangerous and ill-conceived plans. It is clear that Key is leading his government strongly in a massive plan to exploit and endanger NZ’s resources and environment for the benefit of multinational corporations. And while he’s doing it, Key is continuing to work his dubious 1%er, networks of influence.