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Ardern suggests that oil exploration may cease

Written By: - Date published: 8:39 am, March 20th, 2018 - 83 comments
Categories: climate change, disaster, Economy, energy, Environment, global warming, jacinda ardern, labour, national, same old national, Simon Bridges, sustainability - Tags:

Each year since 2012 the Government has run a process called the Block Offer.  The process is set up by the Crown Minerals Act.  Basically the Crown consults on which areas oil explorers should have permission to explore for oil and gas and following consultation releases grants exploration permits to the oil industry.

Local Government is consulted.  The process has been a focal point for climate change activists.  In Auckland I have been involved in presentations to Auckland Council suggesting that we have to leave the undiscovered oil in the ground and as a minimum the pristine West Coast, the habitat for the endangered Maui’s dolphin, should be spared.

Yesterday Greenpeace presented a 45,000 signature petition to Parliament urging the end of oil and gas exploration.  Jacinda Ardern surprised many by personally accepting the petition.  From Lucy Bennett at the Herald:

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has given the strongest signal yet that the days of oil and gas exploration in New Zealand are numbered.

Ardern said the world had moved on from fossil fuels.

The Government is at a critical point in its decision-making over the future of its oil and gas exploration permits.

In a surprise appearance that stunned observers, Ardern appeared on Parliament’s forecourt on Monday to accept a 45,000-strong Greenpeace petition calling for an end to oil and gas exploration.

She asked the climate change activists for more time.

“I ask now for a bit more time. We’re working hard on this issue and we know it’s something that we can’t afford to spend much time on but we are actively considering it now,” she said.

The focus has now gone onto the latest block offer.  The last block offer in 2017 was consulted on between September and November 2016.  The 2016 block offer was consulted on between September and October 2015.  The consultation that normally would have happened last year has not yet occurred, presumably because of last year’s election.

The rationale for not issuing any further exploration permits is clear.  If we are going to do something about climate change then we have to leave undiscovered oil in the ground.

The IPCC has concluded that to prevent irreparable environmental disaster emissions need to be capped so that temperature increases no more than 2 degrees celsius from pre industrial ages.  Any number of climate change scientists have concluded that currently discovered global oil reserves are greater than the amount that can be safely burned.

Bill McKibben,  co founder of 350.org summed up the world’s predicament well:

One lesson of this work is unmistakably obvious: when you’re in a hole, stop digging … These numbers show that unconventional and ‘extreme’ fossil fuel – Canada’s tar sands, for instance – simply have to stay in the ground.  Given these numbers, it makes literally no sense for the industry to go hunting for more fossil fuel. We’ve binged to the edge of our own destruction. The last thing we need now is to find a few more liquor stores to loot.

It appears that Simon Bridges does not share the same level of concern.  From Radio New Zealand:

The Prime Minister should be honest about exactly what her plans are for oil and gas exploration, the National Party leader says.

The government is currently considering block offers for this year’s oil and gas exploration permits, and is not ruling out offering none at all.

Simon Bridges agreed with Jacinda Ardern that New Zealand needed to transition to a lower-carbon economy, which meant encouraging more renewable energy.

But he said you could not turn off the tap to oil and gas overnight.

“That’s the approach I was espousing, a careful transition, but not ending oil and gas permits any time soon and it seems to me that’s actually where, if she’s honest about it, the Prime Minister is rather than this false impression of actively considering the end of oil and gas.”

No one is proposing that the oil industry is going to be turned off overnight.  What is being talked about is stopping exploration.  There can be decades between the commencement of exploration and the drilling of wells so stopping oil exploration will not shut down the industry immediately.

And if we accept that there is already more than enough discovered oil to fry the planet then we need to stop looking for more.

It appears that the oil industry realises that the is a finite period of time for the industry.  In 2016 following a gradual downturn in the oil and gas exploration industry only one exploration permit was granted.

All strength to Ardern.  This is what real action on climate change looks like.  Recognising that there is a finite amount of oil that can be safely burned and making decisions based on this.

83 comments on “Ardern suggests that oil exploration may cease ”

  1. dukeofurl 1

    There seems to be trickery involved for the ‘jobs in oil exploration’. These large vessels for seismic surveys and the big rigs for test drilling all come from overseas and they are staffed by fly in flyout contractors.
    Effectively there are no local jobs there. Kiwis are free to take jobs/contracts overseas of course and thats were most who work in that area spend their time ( but might be back home between jobs or on leave)

    • cleangreen 1.1

      100% dukeofurl, – Most oil exploration jobs are foreign national jobs not kiwi local workers positions currently now so we are effectively “subsidising foreign workers now with the National Government 2015/17 grants given previously to big oi around the time of the oil conferences.

      “There seems to be trickery involved for the ‘jobs in oil exploration’. These large vessels for seismic surveys and the big rigs for test drilling all come from overseas and they are staffed by fly in flyout contractors.”

      We are being played by the “loss of regional jobs” boogie so heavily by Corporate big oil so heavily that even Jacinda said it in her “watered down wet bus ticket to big oil press ‘apologist’ response on TV1, news hub and RNZ today when asked “why don’t you commit to no more exploration now as the greenpeace asked in the petition”?????

      Jacinda; – you need to finally get serious and also wean yourself off oil now!!!!!; – as if you don’t – your child will not have a future so toughen up will you while you have the bloody chance before your Government crumbles, and then before hell breaks loose!!!!!.

      “The IPCC has concluded that to prevent irreparable environmental disaster emissions need to be capped so that temperature increases no more than 2 degrees celsius from pre industrial ages.”

    • KJT 1.2

      There are local jobs. I know several of the many New Zealanders employed in oil exploration right now, as I used to be in the industry.

      However we do need to stop oil exploration, and, have a just transition for the workers involved.
      Oil companies have taken enough from the community already, but many workers are dependent on the industry for jobs.
      We need German style access to retraining.

  2. Bill 2

    The IPCC has concluded that to prevent irreparable environmental disaster emissions need to be capped so that temperature increases no more than 2 degrees celsius from pre industrial ages.

    That’s basically mis-leading. The IPCC are quite explicit in contending that temperatures can rise above 2 degrees and be brought back down again by the use negative emissions technology at some point after 2050.

    If we want any chance that the world remains below 2 degrees, then we must stop burning the fossil we’re already drilling and extracting. Leaving undiscovered stuff in the ground is a moot point…

    …unless we circle back to accepting the impacts of economic and political constraints, magical thinking and fiction on the science, and then run things from there – as per the IPCC.

    edit – we have a little over two decades to get NZ in a position of having zero carbon related energy (zero fossil) if two degrees is our target and science is our basis for action. So when Ardren asks for more time…physics doesn’t have ears, and when the post suggests a couple of decades to ease ourselves away from fossil, physics doesn’t have a timer with a pause function.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 2.1

      We have all the time in the world to decide whether to issue any more exploration block permits.

      What would be impressive is the government cancelling the existing ones.

      • Pat 2.1.1

        which would attract compensation demands…a likely unnecessary cost as very few progress beyond looking…..if they even get that far.

        • KJT

          I can see oil companies suing under TPPA over loss of profits from likely future permits.
          As gold miners and other extractive industries have done elsewhere.

          • Pat

            I cant….’likely’ future permits are in no way certain….you may have a point about lost profit if current permiits were cancelled.

            • KJT

              All it takes is for one of the current Government to have waffled about future permits, to an oil company.

              • Pat

                im not a lawyer but I dont see that holding any sway with any court..even an ISDS tribunal…and apparently nor do the govs legal advisors

                  • Pat

                    I dont know about NAFTA but the legal opinion re the Saudi sheep deal was there was NO possibility of being successfully sued…the reason that McCully made several ‘donations’ has never been properly explained….so we are left to assume it was bribery , and bribery that didnt engender a result at that.

                    Nothing to do with ISDS

                • Wayne


                  Not correct. Cancelling an existing contractual right of an overseas company is a breach of international law, specifically the law of state responsibility. My PhD is on this very issue.

                  Getting a forum is not so easy, hence the use of ISDS provisions.

                  However, if a state is in breach of state responsibility and there is no agreed forum for disputes the state whose nationals (including corporations) have suffered can take counter action. Economic sanctions and the like.

                  All of that is why the PM has emphatically ruled out cancelling existing permits and licences.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    Thanks for that. I figured there’d be something. Despite that they’ve been generally well-received and even cited by the ICoJ, the laws (of state responsibility) are still in draft form, no?

                    Can you point to the article that relates to non state actors, eg: corporations?

                    Don’t articles 24 and 25 (relating to distress and necessity) apply in this (AGW) case?

                    • Wayne

                      It is mostly customary international law, reflected in many ICJ and arbitration decisions. The Convention is not in effect, but the body of customary law exists and binds all states.

                      Necessity would not apply for AGW or else any state could cancel just about anything on this basis. It would have to be a catastrophic immediate event, like an immense volcano or earthquake which impelled the very foundations of the state. Much, much worse than Christchurch, more like a Taupo super volcano.

                      The Iran US Claims Tribunal applied customary law as well as the Treaty of Friendship between Iran and the US. Cancelling a treaty without using the formal withdrawal provisions puts a state in breach of a treaty and is liable for any losses caused. After the Islamic revolution Iran cancelled thousands of US contracts and expropriated assets. The Tribunal has given hundreds of decisions ordering compensation, which has been paid from Iranian bank accounts that were frozen by the US and now internationally administered.

                      A rather short explanation of a 500 page thesis!

                    • Pat

                      @ red blooded

                      exactly…but im interested in Waynes case for otherwise

                  • Pat

                    future exploration permits unissued cannot be considered an existing contractural right however…..thats a question, or perhaps an assertion,,,and that was my point…you will note I did differentiate between cancelling existing permits and not issuing new permits.

                    and im quite happy to receive free legal advice…its not easy to come by.

                  • Pat

                    “One of them is lying. If it’s McCully, he got played. There was no threat and he paid for nothing. If it’s Assaf, and the threat of the lawsuit was genuine, McCully still got played. He blinked first. Because no-one has been able to suggest under which law or in which court we would be sued. And what court would find against a government for simply changing – and not changing back – the law of its land”



                    • red-blooded

                      Ardern was asked about this on RNZ this morning. She said they couldn’t consider cancelling existing contracts because of the cost, but not offering new blocks would not break any contracts – it just wouldn’t create any new ones.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    Response to your comment at 5:38 pm.

                    Thanks. So non state actors are covered by existing conventions regarding eg: the definitions of the words “wrong”, and “wrongdoing”, no?

                    According to existing precedents, would the actions of non-state actors also figure in the assessment of “wrongdoing”? So, for example, climate change denial sponsored by non state actors could be used to build a case against their claims for compensation?

    • cleangreen 2.2

      Yes bill,
      Thanks for the correction over the IPCC comment as the best practice is to reduce not keep increases at 2 degrees higher or more.

      At the present we will see a higher increase due to exponential variance not yet factored in here, so Jacinda wake up or we all will be financially ruined as climate events and storms/floods ruin all our infrastructure and we are failed by you.

      • patricia bremner 2.2.1

        Cleangreen, Jacinda does not get to make this decision alone sadly. She is not alone in oil.

  3. Michelle 3

    We need to ween ourselves of oil, gas and coal we need to invest in research to develop clean green technology. Now this is what our Green party need to get to work on.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.1

      That’s what the Green has been working on. Unfortunately, most other people vote for the delusional ‘centrist’ position of National and Labour.

      • dukeofurl 3.1.1

        Clean green technology is just a buzz word- like that consultants in high priced accountants and law firms use.
        Having an electric grid mostly using sustainable power sources and increasing use of electric vehicles will do far far more than focus group tested buzz words.
        The buzz words are favoured by the delusional who dont consider the hard side of what is needed.

        • Draco T Bastard

          Clean green technology is just a buzz word

          No it’s not and you saying so is just you proving your ignorance.

          Having an electric grid mostly using sustainable power sources and increasing use of electric vehicles will do far far more than focus group tested buzz words.

          The grid would be using full renewable energy and we wouldn’t have cars. Cars are a stupid idea that needs to be put out of our misery.

          The buzz words are favoured by the delusional who dont consider the hard side of what is needed.

          I don’t use buzz words – that you in your ignorance.

          • dukeofurl

            Clean Green Technology ? You mean like Weta Workshops and their massive computing power moving into ‘online gaming’ – hahahaa
            next thing, we find out Weta has been ‘bitcoin mining’ as well to use up idle computer hours.

            • Draco T Bastard

              You mean like Weta Workshops and their massive computing power moving into ‘online gaming’

              What’s not clean about that?

              we find out Weta has been ‘bitcoin mining’ as well to use up idle computer hours.

              BitCoin and all other such ‘currencies’ need to be made illegal – ASAP.

              • McFlock

                The energy use isn’t particularly clean, even in NZ

                • Draco T Bastard

                  But it can be made so through clean, green tech. And, of course, modern computers don’t use anything like the power for the same computing capability of even just a few years ago (power use is where miniaturisation really pays off).

                  And you’ll never find me supporting inefficient BS like BitCoin both from an economic and financial stand point.

                  • McFlock

                    “Clean, green tech” is a highly relative term until the raw materials are produced without fossil fuels or their derived compounds and concrete is at least carbon-neutral.

                    In the mean time, it’s all still messy as fuck. And simply creating more computing power for the same energy is just creating more computing power for the same cost: we end up using more of it, and then some. Usually on widgets and improvements on resolution that most people won’t notice, or lazy programming using KLoCs where a few hundred lines of code would have sufficed.

                    Have you seen the release schedules for hit games? Not much time for optimising a clothing renderer these days, the products are like a Russian Reversal joke: “In real life, you ride the horse. In Red DeD, horse rides you.” But they still suck up the processor power like it’s [NSFW lol deleted].

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      “Clean, green tech” is a highly relative term until the raw materials are produced without fossil fuels or their derived compounds

                      That covers “clean”. In order for it to be truly “Green” it also has to eschew the use of slaves in any part of the supply chain.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      “Clean, green tech” is a highly relative term until the raw materials are produced without fossil fuels or their derived compounds and concrete is at least carbon-neutral.

                      You do understand that you just contradicted yourself there don’t you?

                      In the mean time, it’s all still messy as fuck.

                      But it can be clean – just needs some work.

                      And simply creating more computing power for the same energy is just creating more computing power for the same cost: we end up using more of it, and then some.

                      That's not actually a Bad Thing.

                      Usually on widgets and improvements on resolution that most people won’t notice

                      I’m not really thinking of home computing although we are seeing benefit there as well. Home PCs are using significantly less power than they used to.

                      Have you seen the release schedules for hit games? Not much time for optimising a clothing renderer these days,

                      Which is why game engines like Unity are taking off. They’re already optimised.

                    • McFlock

                      The thing is, Weta are already going into gaming and people are already mining bitcoin. But our power generation is still neither clean nor green.

                      So if genuinely clean and green power generation will be developed only in the timeframe required for you to ban cars and cryptocurrencies, yeah, we’re fucked.

                      And until then, “clean and green energy” is a buzzphrase that serves as a euphemism for “slightly less shitty”.

  4. Pat 4

    Right noises being made by the PM…..will be interesting to see if it changes under lobbying pressure….a couple of months or less before we know.

    • Anne 4.1

      Here is a link to the Kim Hill Interview with Jacinda on RNZ this morning:


      Note: not only does she treat the Prime Minister with respect, but still asks the hard questions and – good grief – actually lets the PM answer them without interference. The result? We have a clear picture of exactly what they are doing, and when there is likely to be a decision.

      • Pat 4.1.1

        I heard it and was what I based my comment on…and yes Kim Hill is a v.good interviewer even if she does leap ahead from time to time….we could do with more like her.
        Theres no doubting however that there will be pressure to extend the time out until new permits are ceased which imo would be a huge mistake.

      • cleangreen 4.1.2

        100% Anne,

        That was a good effort by Kim Hill as she was very thorough with Jacinda who was very well prepared to defend herself to say she needed time and to consider the loss of jobs if exploration ceases in the provinces, but dukeofurl on (1) has said it correctly that most jobs in the exploration of oil & gas uses overseas workers not kiwis so Jacinda does need to move now on banning oil exploration while she has just a short time with a coalition and a popular mandate to ban oil/gas exploration else she will fail us and ours and her children’s future.

    • Cinny 4.2

      Agree Pat.

      I remember back in 2014 election when Winston came to town, a member of the public asked about oil drilling etc, Winston did say he is not anti extraction, am hoping his views have evolved since then.

      Meanwhile, simon and oil…. lmao, maybe media should be playing clips from his history while on said topic, like choosing choice exploration sites lololool, or his greasing up to oil executives etc. I do miss Russell Norman in Parliament, he sure gave simon a run for his money.

      A little off topic, but must say am loving the new mercury energy ad on telly, with the old boys in their electric car, that’s epic. Good to see the electric narrative being linked to classic cars.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.3

      Which has already started – mostly with threats:

      Petroleum Exploration & Production NZ chief executive Cameron Madgwick told The AM Show a block to further exploration will be “very detrimental to New Zealand’s economy”.

      “It’s probably also a lose for the environment,” he said.

      The industry brings around $2.5b into the economy annually, and is linked to 11,000 high-paying jobs (averaging $105,000) – but Ms Ardern says those figures could be outdated.

      Still stuck in last century. Using those 11000 people for renewable electricity is worth far more and keeping burning fossil fuels will destroy us and the economy with it.

      • Pat 4.3.1

        Then lets hope sense prevails….we should know soon enough(well not really, but a cpl of months aint forever)

      • cleangreen 4.3.2

        1000% Draco T Bastard.

        Most oil “exploration” jobs are using foreign workers not kiwis anyway and leave after short term contacts.

      • SpaceMonkey 4.3.3

        How is stopping further oil exploration a lose for the environment?

        • Draco T Bastard

          Ask the oil executive who said it and who’s probably more worried about his pay packet than the environment.

  5. patricia bremner 5

    Jacinda has some in government to convince probably. This is a signal to NZ and the world where she stands on the issue.

    You are right Bill, physics is not an elastic science, so our choices are being dictated by self preservation unless we wish to lose control of the climate situation.

    Being in a coalition has difficulties, especially regarding oil and climate change.

    Some like Bridges, may see this as a gesture. Well I suggest they remove the oil film from their eyes.

    The oil barrons have not been quick or generous in cleaning up spills, so they are going to try to delay change through lobbying and money no doubt.

    This is a clear signal to them and other watchers by our Prime Minister.

    Every bit as profound as Lange’s “uranium on your breath” moment.

    This will go round the world to all fighting to change from oil, to all goverments and to people everywhere, as a significant signal. IMO

  6. John 6

    If we are to slowly shut off the oil tap in NZ, then somewhere else needs to open up theirs more. Otherwise you have a shortfall in the demand, think of Auckland traffic, what do you suggest that they do bike? Priority should be to reduce demand, but our infrastructure is sadly lacking. When I see things like “is you journey really necessary”, I might take this a bit more seriously.
    I would suggest we put a lot more effort into Geothermal drilling, we have NO deep wells in NZ, no funding going into that research area.

    • Pat 6.1

      Not necessarily….if your investing in infrastructure/business and you know that in 10 or 20 years time natural gas say is not likely to be available or will be very expensive you look for alternatives and design accordingly….you dont simply say we can import it from somewhere else…especially if similar is happening offshore…..and remember there are other decisions which will impact such as increasing carbon taxes etc.

      Consider the likes of some subdivisions in recent times that have had locally reticulated gas storage or the likes of Fonterra’s powder drying plants….would this change those decisions if designing today?

      • John 6.1.1

        Pohokura gas field is good for fifty years, we are not going to run out of domestic gas anytime soon. As Sheikh Yamani said the Stone Age did not end due to lack of stones. We have to get off hydrocarbons

        • Pat

          yes we do…and signalling that supply is not going to be constrained into the future is not the way to do it…Pohokura may be good for 50 years (and remember those are estimates based on the current state) but if you are looking for and discovering more Pohokuras why would anyone stop putting say gas heating in their homes? or thinking that they can switch their petrol car to LPG in the future? or a million other decisions that perpetuate the reliance on fossil fuels.

    • Draco T Bastard 6.2

      Otherwise you have a shortfall in the demand, think of Auckland traffic, what do you suggest that they do bike?


      Just think, we’d all be fitter (from more exercise and reduced pollution) reducing health costs and congestion would disappear over night saving billions per year.

  7. Chris T 7

    Could have the wrong end of the stick, but

    I thought she clarified this morning that if it happened it would take decades and that its a big if.

    Personally can’t see it happening currently

    • Pat 7.1

      the existing permits may run for up to 20 years…theres your decades…but we will need transition time in any case…plus IF further permits are not issued the signal to the industry is ‘start winding down’ cause theres no future return…..which the industry should already realise.

  8. Sparky 8

    Given this is the same govt determined to sign the CP-TPP and have it pass this is weak tea at best. Lets see where it goes, my prediction….nowhere…..

    • red-blooded 8.1

      Check your facts, Sparky. Labour never said that they wouldn’t sign the TTPA – they said there’d need to be changes before they’d be able to sign it. Here’s a link to the 2015 statement.

      They got most of the changes and guarantees they wanted. (The issue of corporations being able to sue the government isn’t entirely solved, but side deals have been done with a number of countries to exclude it and they’re trying for more. Plus, the sad fact is that this provision was in other deals we signed in the last 9 years – it’s not limited to the TPPA.)

      You still might not agree with the decision to sign – fair enough, that’s your right. Don’t misrepresent things, though.

      • weka 8.1.1

        “They got most of the changes and guarantees they wanted.”

        We don’t actually know that because the messaging in the past few years has been confusing and the bottoms likes were vague. At best we can say that Labour said just prior to the election that they would do their best but intended to sign. That is quite a different message than Little was giving earlier. So it’s fair that some people are still not trusting Labour on this.

        As people have been pointing out Labour still have an issue on just what it is they stand for and this will always lead to disappointment.

        • Pat

          its the reality of government…you cant always do everything you wish….there are trade offs due to circumstance….the question is what is the aim? and do you support that aim?…I can confidently state that i prefer the aims of this coalition than the previous admin…it really is as simple as that…I dont expect perfection.

          • weka

            True, and I don’t expect governments to be perfect or do everything I want (including the GP). I do think Labour mislead on this though, and it’s unclear how much of that was intentional prevarication and how much was them just being in a mess. Also, how much is father knows best. They walked a good game, but there is still a far lower degree of transparency and honesty than I am ok with.

            • Pat

              “Also, how much is father knows best.:
              Lol…theres always an element of that…I posted a link to a speech Cullen gave a while agpo where he noted that ‘no central banker would ever publically admit that’…or words to that effect…and its true, we are told what is deemed we need to know irrespective of whos in charge…it happens in all walks of life and in in all instances…hell, we do it with our children.

              Dosnt make it right …but it makes life easier.

              An afterthought…academics do the same thing through coded language.

      • solkta 8.1.2

        If they didn’t fix it they didn’t fix it. The ISDS thing is what people are most concerned about and there changes mean shit. They said they wouldn’t sign it unless this was gone so they shouldn’t have signed it. That’s the facts.

  9. Baba Yaga 9

    “All strength to Ardern. This is what real action on climate change looks like.”

    Ah, no.

    “By 4pm Ardern appeared to walk back the comments, saying consideration of what to do with the process under which areas are offered for oil exploration was something that “every government does around this time of year”.”

    Just more ‘conversations’ by our PM.

      • Baba Yaga 9.1.1

        No, I didn’t. I really do wonder why you would think there was any need for a ‘clarification’, or why anything Ardern said this morning differed from the position outlined in the previous Herald report.

        • Pat

          well quite obviously the clarification was so people such as yourself didnt misinterpret exactly what an exploration permit and the granting of or not involves….and she did so clearly including a time frame.

          Your and the journalists(?) framing of it as a ‘walk back’ was both disingenuous and premature…..if there is to be any walk back it will occur with the decision.

          • Baba Yaga

            “… the clarification was so people such as yourself didnt misinterpret…”
            I didn’t misinterpret anything.

            “Your and the journalists(?) framing of it as a ‘walk back’ …”
            I didn’t. Mickey had written “All strength to Ardern. This is what real action on climate change looks like.” I’m simply pointing out Ardern was speaking with considerably more caution than to justify that claim. The Herald article, and Ardern’s subsequent media interview, support my point.

            In my view Ardern is all talk and no action. Her comments on this issue are like so many others she makes, deliberately intended to leave enough wriggle room to make whatever decision she later chooses.

            • Whispering Kate

              Amen to that.

            • Pat

              Two points

              MS hadnt made the comment when the article you quoted was published so the “walk back’ you later try to ascribe had not occured…there is no possible link between the article and this post.

              Secondly the claimed confusion around what Labours (and its coalition partners) position is on climate change policy is again disingenuous….unless PEPANZ have hired a particularly thick CEO…a carbon neutral economy by 2050 isnt created on the back of fossil fuel use….but then I guess thats just the industry looking for political wiggle room eh?

              • Baba Yaga

                “MS hadnt made the comment when the article you quoted was published…”
                I know. That was the point of my referring to it.

                “so the “walk back’ you later try to ascribe had not occured…”
                I didn’t mention a ‘walk back’. The herald journalist did.

                “there is no possible link between the article and this post.”
                The link is obvious. MS claimed “This is what real action on climate change looks like.” The Herald article shows that this is what politics looks like.

                “Secondly the claimed confusion around what Labours (and its coalition partners) position is on climate change policy is again disingenuous….”
                What claim? What confusion?

                • Pat

                  “so the “walk back’ you later try to ascribe had not occured…”
                  I didn’t mention a ‘walk back’. The herald journalist did.”

                  “By 4pm Ardern appeared to walk back the comments, saying consideration of what to do with the process under which areas are offered for oil exploration was something that “every government does around this time of year”.”

                  An article you linked to support your position…as said, disingenuous.

                  “What claim? What confusion?”

                  Your linked article again….

                  “Coming out to accept a petition from an environmental NGO [non government organisation] would appear to suggest that a decision may already be very close to being made,” Madgwick said.

                  The organisation did not know what to make of the Prime Minister’s actions, because the only written statements from Labour was an energy policy which stated an ongoing role for oil exploration.”

                  This confusion

                  • Baba Yaga

                    “An article you linked to support your position…”
                    Not my position about a ‘walk back’, my position about what MS had written. Please read the comments more carefully.

                    “Your linked article again….”
                    I linked to an article that contained the comment I quoted. The ‘claimed confusion’ was and is irrelevant. Although you seem to be convinced by it.

                    • Pat

                      “Please read the comments more carefully.”

                      Thats good advice you should take yourself

                    • Baba Yaga

                      Pat you’re off on a tangent at every opportunity. But worse, you’re ascribing comments to me I didn’t make (eg the ‘walk back’).

                    • Pat

                      Lets see if Ive got this straight….

                      You post a comment quoting a paragraph (38 words)

                      you link that article

                      you add minimal comment (9 words)

                      and now the article is irrelevant….go figure,

                      oh and somehow its all MS fault…FFS

                    • Baba Yaga

                      “You post a comment quoting a paragraph (38 words)
                      you link that article
                      you add minimal comment (9 words)
                      and now the article is irrelevant….go figure,”

                      It’s astonishing you need this explaining. I linked to an article to reference a quote in a response to a comment by MS. I only provided the link because it contained the comment I quoted. I did not refer to or even mention any other content of that link.

                      You raised the issue of ‘claimed confusion’. It was and is irrelevant to my post.

                    • Pat

                      “All strength to Ardern. This is what real action on climate change looks like.”

                      Ah, no.
                      Just more ‘conversations’ by our PM.


  10. CHCOff 10

    Understand then, that the invasion of Iraq was about keeping oil in the ground.

    In short remove the ‘peak oil’ industry out of the industry via replacement of demand and supply economic market signals, improve the safety standards via trade association chains to that, develop this as much as possible to the betterment of the New Zealand economy and social standard, require part of this ‘boon’ to pay it’s fair dues to the state, have the state administer this ‘ear marked’ revensue without excess lobbying so is available to the small player for the continual development and research into energy diversity.

    Before environmentalism became an industry it was right, Nuclear is the biggest danger to the planet and civilisation. It is an extremely violent approach to base energy off. The japan situation is an on going cover up. It doesn’t stop, for all intensive purposes, ever. Nuclear is a half brother to the most dominant producing industry on the planet, the armaments industry.

    Development, research and application into energy diversity is the same into peace and sustainability. Energy Diversity is what the peoples’ place is, in contributing to good governance in relation to the political and technical fields of energy. That is their yardstick properly applied.

  11. John Reid 11

    Something the author doesn’t talk about is the economics of oil exploration, which is no longer encouraging.

    Two years ago the Financial Times was quoting deep sea oil as costing USD115 a barrel to find and extract, and I’m quite sure that exploration costs haven’t dropped in the interim. Brent Crude, the standard benchmark, is currently USD66.19 a barrel, according to Reuters. That suggests that the industry has already accepted that offshore oil is a non-starter. Meanwhile, the costs of solar and wind power are dropping with every passing week, and already are below the cost of fossil fuels, largely thanks to the involvement of China, I gather, who are very keen to clean up their own air.

    When cutting down on oil whenever possible is the responsible thing to do, and also the most cost effective oil really is on its way out.

    Remember: the Stone Age didn’t end because the world ran out of stone. It ended because the problems had a better solution, and I think oil is now on that course too.

  12. KJT 12

    “it’s the same problem Labour has always had: a refusal to actually say where it stands. But when you’re going to talk big about climate change being this generation’s nuclear free moment, you need to follow that up by actually picking a fucking side. And you certainly don’t wibble around talking about how to accommodate the fuckers who are literally trying to turn a profit by destroying the global climate and ruining the lives of future generations.”

    Ups to NRT. http://norightturn.blogspot.co.nz/2018/03/digging-her-own-hole.html

  13. Andy 13

    I guess saying new no blocks is not nothing but it is close to it. Not only have the exploration ships not found anything for years even if they did deep sea oil drilling is not currently economic and won’t likely be again for a very long time.
    The reason why i don’t see any deep sea drilling even if exploration continued with discovery is fracking and shale oil have no only steeply driven down the price of a barrel of oil but also pretty much put a ceiling on it in the $70-80 per barrel.
    I’m not sure if onshore exploration of oil or gas is happening in any great amount currently but this is what really would need to be blocked.

  14. timeforacupoftea 14

    (Ardern suggests that oil exploration may cease)

    Fat Chance.
    Jacinda Adern won’t want to be in opposition for the rest of her life.

    • Pat 14.1


      • timeforacupoftea 14.1.1

        About 5% population can do without a carbon burning monster.

        20 years time it may change but a problem on the horizon is a major shortage of cobalt.

        Without cobalt some of the largest tech companies on the planet – like Tesla and Apple would file for bankruptcy.

        60% of the worlds cobalt production comes from war-torn Democratic Republic of the Congo.

        A lot of trouble will be coming from this, just like the oil industry in the Middle East.

        • Pat

          dont disagree that resource shortages of many kinds, including cobalt will create supply issues…however i dont see how this will immediately impact any government that ceases fossil fuel exploration.

          The fact remains that we are going to undergo a huge change of lifestyle…the question is whether its managed (as best we can) or chaotic

  15. Jenny 15

    Defeat the Andarko Ammendment, and build the protests on the water against deep sea oil drilling.

    Politics is all about pressure, quite obviously a lot of pressure is coming on the government from one side.

    We need to increase the pressure from our side.

    A huge public showing of support, outside this court case might be a good start.

    “Greenpeace activists want their day in court over oil protest”

    Greenpeace boss Russel Norman and fellow climate change activist Sara Howell want their day in court.

    In April Norman, Howell, and a third Greenpeace protester, Gavin Mulvay, were charged by the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment with interfering in the operations of a oil industry survey ship, the Amazon Warrior.

    Greenpeace New Zealand was also charged over the incident, where the three activists swam within an exclusion zone near the ship while it was carrying out seismic survey work off the Wairarapa Coast in April.


    The significance of this case can not be under estimated.

    Requiring the highest level of personal sacrifice for those prepared to take a stand.

    With possible prison sentences of ten years if found guilty of the charges.

    The stakes are very high with the first outing of the so called “Andarko Amendment” which stipulated extreme sentences for anyone who dares try a repeat, of the sort of protests which drove Petrobras from our shores.

    These heroes are putting their freedom on the line to fight for our right to protest.

    If we want to stop deep sea oil drilling this is the way to do it. This high profile case will bring the matter to the floor of parliament, and strengthen the hand of the Prime Minister to face down the fossil fuel lobby. Especially if the oil companies decide through the courts to put the Greenpeace director and his co-defendent in jail, and making them a cause celebre.

    The National Government offered every blandishment (and threat) they could to get these two to plead guilty and accept diversion.

    The hidden fishhook was that the government and the courts had filed against Greenpeace itself and intended to wreck the organisation.

    This task would have been easier if the protesters especially their director Russel Norman had plead guilty. Russel Norman’s courageous stand is not only to protect our right to protest, but also to protect the organisation he leads from being destroyed financially and organisationally through the courts. His sacrifice will make the government and oil companies job to crush protests against deep sea oil that much harder.

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