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Stop deep sea oil

Written By: - Date published: 7:15 am, April 12th, 2011 - 138 comments
Categories: disaster, economy, energy, john key, Mining - Tags: , , ,

Protest action by Greenpeace has disrupted prospecting activities in the Raukumara Basin by Brazilian petrochemical giant Petrobras. According to this account:

The company said it ordered the Orient Explorer to abandon testing for the day because it was too dangerous after demonstrators from a flotilla of five protest boats swam in front of the ship.

Naturally John Key came out swinging for Big Business. “Key slams Greenpeace anti-oil protests” was the original headline of this piece, which has since been toned down slightly in an update:

Prime Minister John Key said this afternoon that the Government was considering providing naval protection to Brazilian company Petrobras so it can carry out its oil exploration work off the East Cape.

Earlier, Mr Key said the environmental campaigners disrupting oil exploration off the East Cape were standing in the way of “better jobs and better incomes” for New Zealanders.

No surprise that Key is keen to leap straight to the brute force option, and turn the navy loose on a few swimmers with protest flags. But would an oil find lead to “better jobs and better incomes”? An anonymous (naturally) Herald editorial thinks it will:

New Zealand needs a big oil discovery to show it has proven large reserves. That, combined with its attractive exploration regime, would entice other major explorers to come here. The potential benefit in tax and royalty income, jobs and regional development is enormous. If there is, as with virtually any activity, a risk, there is also the prospect of huge reward. It is not a possibility the country, including those protesting against Petrobras’ presence, can afford to pass up.

The benefits to New Zealand are pure speculation, and would depend on the size of any find. But whether a find is made or not, it would be wrong in principle to mine oil in the Raukumara Basin. Wrong for two reasons.

First, because of the risk of an immediate, short term environmental disaster if there is an oil spill. Key assures us that the risk can be “managed”. It is a meaningless promise. What does “managed” mean? How, specifically, would New Zealand cope in the case of a spill like the recent Deepwater Horizon fiasco? Answer – we wouldn’t. We don’t have the infrastructure or the expertise. Key doesn’t have even the remotest idea what he is talking about. According to Greenpeace, Key has even the most basic facts wrong:

John Key claimed that the Raukūmara Basin where Petrobras is currently conducting seismic testing for oil drilling, is not as deep as the location of last year’s Deepwater Horizon oil disaster in the US Gulf of Mexico: “I don’t think it’s in nearly as deep as water as what we saw in The Gulf”, he said (1).

“In fact it is up to twice the depth”, said Steve Abel, Greenpeace New Zealand’s Climate Campaigner, “The big oil companies are hunting in increasingly more extreme places because the days of easily accessible oil are over. This is why we must begin to wean ourselves off oil and onto renewable fuel sources. The costs of exploration and extraction will continue to increase and with them the risks of environmental disasters”.

John Key also claimed that we had adequate safety measures, high environmental standards and this proved the Government had good risk management – but this both contradicts his own ministers and even the oil industry itself. There is only one full time inspector devoted to oil rigs within the New Zealand EEZ (3).

The second reason that it would be wrong to mine in the Basin is the certainty of the medium term environmental catastrophe of climate change. We need to stop converting fossil hydrocarbons into the greenhouse gasses that are irrevocably damaging the environment that supports human life and civilisation. The world must give up fossil fuels. New Zealand should be leading the way, not making meaningless commitments to reduce greenhouse emissions, and all the while exporting products that make the problem worse.

New Zealand shouldn’t be drilling for oil. We shouldn’t be mining and exporting coal. Yes it makes money, but no it is wrong anyway. Like a Big Tobacco company or your friendly neighbourhood pusher, we are selling a product that is slowly killing the user. Only in this case the user is the human race, and the planet that we live on.

138 comments on “Stop deep sea oil ”

  1. If you want the labour/greed party ponzi savings scam to keep running then it will have to be “drill baby drill”, because if ‘we’ can’t find the energy to maintain growth Kiwi Saver is dead in the water.
    Again – we told you so.

  2. Key’s errors on basic facts are typical of National Party politicians. They BELIEVE something…and the facts don’t matter to them. I remember the first time I encountered Tony Ryall. He wrote a letter to the Kawerau Gazette in 1990 explaining why we shouldn’t have MMP. He then went on to list all MMP’s problems – in detail. Ryall’s ‘problem’ was that he was actually describing STV, a completely different voting system. The facts didn’t matter in Ryall’s opposition to MMP. They played no role in his opposition, clearly. That woke me up the phenomenon…and I have seen it almost daily from someone in the National Party ever since. If they want something, they won’t/don’t do their homework (arrogant disregard – if you ignore the problem, it won’t be a problem) and they will make things up – as Key has just done – to justify what they want.

    John Key being wildly wrong on the depths in the Raukumara Basin is just today’s example. We will have more tomorrow…and the next day. Will John Key change his mind when / if he finds out the truth? Hell no. He’ll look for some other rationalisation that lets him have what he wants. In the end he’ll resort to “just because” if he really has to.

  3. Anthony 3

    John Key doesn’t care if he’s wrong because generally the only people that fact check him are bloggers.

  4. happynz 4

    The papers and the broadcast media certainly won’t.

  5. Colonial Viper 5

    I would support deep sea oil drilling if
    – The Government owned a 50% share of the joint venture drilling and extraction company.
    – Tax rates on the venture were high.
    – Half of the Government’s profits from the venture were committed to the Cullen Fund.
    – What is left is committed to building infrastructure and systems for a sustainable low carbon future e.g. wind generation, solar water heating, electrified rail, etc.
    – 1/4 of the proven reserves are kept in the ground for Crown use only.

    • Anthony 5.1

      As if this will happen though… more likely:
      • we will charge low royalties to ‘encourage’ investment
      • The oil companies will sell the crude to their parent below market
      • Have some other tricky tax/debt structure that minimises profit thus tax liability
      • The NZ tax payer covers all externalities
      • NZ ends up with f*ck all money and a mess to clean up

      We got suckered by movie producers, imagine what oil execs will do.

      • Bored 5.1.1

        CVs idea is good, you reality cautionary and realistic. My take is that the stuff should stay where it is, the historic record shows that we wont get the money from it as a nation so why bother.

        • The Economic Illiteracy Support Group

          …. especially when you have people like Minister of Revenue Peter Dunne at the helm. Here’s his energy policy:

          [United Future] oppose a standard royalty rate on new offshore oil discoveries being fixed in advance. We believe that the general policy should be a zero royalty rate with the government reserving the right to apply a royalty, on a case-by-case basis specific to rate of any medium to large oil field discovered


          Yes, you read that right … a Minister of the Crown has an explicit policy that would result in New Zealand’s oil wealth being given away to foreign companies, with no royalties payable.

          It’s a crying shame that we don’t have a crime of “economic treason”.

          • Oleolebiscuitbarrell

            The only problem with your plan, Viper, is that if the government owns half the joint venture it’s going to have to front up with half of the costs of exploration.  In the recent case of the Great Southern Basin, that would have been $600m for nix.

            Still keen?

            • felix

              There’s no reason they have to pay half of anything. They should be able to negotiate a much better deal than that, and if they had NZ’s interests at heart they would.
              Trouble is they don’t represent us at all.

              • todd

                When National say oil and gas earned New Zealand $2.1 billion in 2010 this is a lie. New Zealand earned 5% of that value from oil and 1% from gas. This is roughly $84 Million dollars. Basically New Zealand is earning about the same amount we are reinvesting into exploration so that oil companies like Petrobras can make a killing. Doesn’t make economic sense to me.

    • Roflcopter 5.2

      Interesting, I’d support that.
      Can you clarify where the 50% share would be paid from please CV?

  6. kriswgtn 6

    and 100% safe but it isnt safe is it? Gulf of Mexico anyone???
    Peoples whole livelihoods ruined and the damage on the eco system= destroyed and for what??? $$$$$$$$
    These protestors have every right
    This is only the beginning Key-you better give the $ back
    as far as i am concerned they (oil pirates) can fuck off ),along with this Govt

    • infused 6.1

      Thankfully, no one cares about your concerns.
      Protesters have the right to protest. I’m waiting for one of them to get killed by one of these boats and see everyone get in an uproar over it.

      • Marty G 6.1.1

        yeah, there would be an uproar, don’t you think, if a peaceful protester was killed?
        But good to see your violence fantasies on display. Maybe you should compare yours with Whaleoil’s/

      • Roger 6.1.2

        No-one cares about his concerns?
        No-one cares that this type of drilling led to a major environmental disaster and a destroyed ecosystem?
        No-one cares about destroyed livelihoods?
        I guess if it happened to you nobody should give a toss either right?

        • infused

          Yeah, one out of how many? Everything we do has a risk.

          And Marty, I’m not the idiot shoving myself in front of a ship. If they are hit and killed, they can only blame themselves. Why do you think the Navy is out there? To keep an eye on these idiots.

        • Fat Uncle

          But Key has done a substantial check…he thinks it’s ok and he asked Brownlee who said yeh.

    • kriswgtn 6.2

      go play with kiwiblob you cock
      We will march to stop this

  7. toad 7

    Andrew Geddis is of the informed opinion that there may be little that Government agencies can lawfully do to stop the protests disrupting the seismic survey – short of legislating to create a new criminal offence.

    • Colonial Viper 7.1

      short of legislating to create a new criminal offence.

      That’s what CERRA is for. This is directly related to Christchurch earthquake recovery, didnt you know.

      • todd 7.1.1

        Whether there is a legal basis for the Government to intervene or not seems irrelevant to John Key. He thinks he is right therefore he is. Fuck yeah! Bring on the police state and a full on war against the people. Who gives a shit what the Maoris want. Why don’t they just bloody nuke those protestors right out of the water?

  8. PeteG 8

    Tankers bringing oil to New Zealand are a risk, imagine what would happen if one ran onto rocks and emptied into the sea. We should stop them too.

    I’m looking forward to seeing the detail in Labour’s “Growth Without Oil or Coal” policy.

    • wtl 8.1

      Indeed. Why bother worrying about risks? Wearing a seatbelt? LOL, that’s for pussies.

      • sean 8.1.1

        [Sorry – seems you’re out for a week. — r0b]

      • Bazar 8.1.2

        Indeed. Why bother worrying about incomes? Matching australia’s gdp? LOL, that’s for pussies.

        • wtl

          Who wants to match incomes with Australia? Certainly not the current government – it’ll remove our competitive advantage and all the companies will invest elsewhere.

    • RobM 8.2

      I look forward to seeing National’s “Growth with Oil and Coal” policy.

      But we don’t need one of those, do we Pete? The Daddy Market will provide.

    • Kaplan 8.3

      Damn right they are however in terms of mitigation and clean up the volume of oil that would spill from a tanker, even if it completely emptied, is a tiny fraction of what would be released if a deep sea well failed.  

      Exxon Valdez = between ~250,000 and ~750,000 barrels
      Deepwater Horizon = ~5,000,000 barrels

      We’ve all seen that in action, I guess some people are just slow learners..

    • Steve Withers 8.4

      PeteG: A tanker is a finite amount of oil and a relatively small one compared to an open-throated well spewing oil into the sea for most of a year. Appropriate context and some attempt at a sense of proportion would aid your comments enormously. 

      • PeteG 8.4.1

        You could take that further – a tanker ful of oil spilled close to the coast could have much more affect than a well leak far out to sea.
        Does anyone know of comparative risks of tanker versus deep sea well spills? Presumably lessons will have been learnt from the BP Gulf of Mexico spill. Nothing is “safe” but can it be “safe enough”?

        • felix

          Perhaps seeing as you’re the one making the comparison, you should be providing the analysis of the comparative risks.
          Otherwise it’s more pissing in the wind.

        • lprent

          Pretty basic science. Volumes and pressures are the differences.

          New wellheads typically have quite a lot of gas pressure forcing the oil out. They also have somewhat more volume of material to spew out. If they are in kilometres deep wellheads, then like the Gulf spill they are bloody hard to plug.

          Oil tankers have no significant pressure forcing their oil out. They also have very limited supplies of oil further constrained by bulkheads. This is why it is unusual to find a oil tanker managing to spill its whole load.

          A wellhead leak that isn’t immediately plugged will always cause more environmental damage, especially to our very lucrative offshore fishing industry. It just takes a ocean current to make it go onshore. And if you look at the ocean current details around NZ you will find that most major currents swirl inshore.

          Short answer – a wellhead leak is far more likely to cause massively more major damage than any oil-tanker. Furthermore NZ has absolutely no equipment capable of dealing with any significant leak of either a wellhead leak or a oil-tanker shipwreck. We barely have enough to deal with minor in-harbor leakages from vessel fuel.

      • PeteG 8.4.2

        Nature does deal with natural oil leakage, to an extent.

        Natural oil leaks equal to 8–80 Exxon Valdez spills
        There is an oil spill everyday at Coal Oil Point (COP), the natural seeps off Santa Barbara, where 20-25 tons of oil have leaked from the seafloor each day for the last several hundred thousand years.


        • Draco T Bastard

          Interesting that the only reference to that study is the press release. You’d think that they’d also release the study itself. It’s also interesting to note that UCSB (University of California) estimates that between 100 and 170 barrels of oil per day is released – and up to 40 tons of gas.

          3. Oil seepage is estimated at 100 bbl/day based on prior work of others and by our research group; high estimate is 170 bbl/day.

          7. About 40 metric tons of methane gas is emitted daily from the seep field.

  9. joe90 9

    What could possibly go wrong.

    We have a management style that has made a virtue of doing more for less,” said Hayward. To increase BP’s profitability and share price, Browne had encouraged the departure of hundreds of BP’s skilled engineers. To save money, Browne believed BP should use subcontractors to drill for oil, maintain refineries, monitor corrosion in pipelines and supervise the construction of oil platforms. Investigations of the accidents blamed cost savings and the inadequate skills of BP’s own personnel for poor supervision of the subcontractors.

  10. tsmithfield 10

    The existing survey is only exploratory. Maybe they will find nothing of commercial value. In which case the whole issue will die a natural death. If they find commercial quantities then the issues of risk management can be addressed. Either way the question will be answered, which has got to be a good thing..

    • Kaplan 10.1

      Yeah for sure, because large multinational corporations just love throwing hundreds of millions dollars at a ‘maybe they will find nothing of commercial value’ venture.

      Maybe they are hoping pod of solid gold dolphins will launch themselves on to the deck of the ship and everyone will live happily ever after?

      • tsmithfield 10.1.1

        Except this is the sort of thing these companies do all the time. So its not particularly unusual.

        I actually think it is good to know what resources we have, and at the moment we have someone else paying to find that out for us. Whether anything actually happens after that is another matter all together.

        On the other hand, it seems the greens approach is to put there fingers in their ears and go na na na just in case the exploration process shows we have untold wealth stored away under our sea beds.

        • wtl

          No, the protesters are saying that deep sea oil drilling is not worth the risk, as demonstrated by the Deepwater Horizon incident. One way to make sure no drilling happens is to disrupt all stages of the process – from exploration onwards – which is the strategy they are pursuing. While exploration does not guarantee that drilling happens, stopping exploration guarantees that drilling never happens, which is why this is a reasonable approach to achieving their aims.

          • tsmithfield

            Its easy to see why the greens are referred to as “luddites”.

            Lessons have been learned from the BP incident. There is no way a company would want to be exposed to the sort of financial hit that BP took. So, it is reasonable to assume that risk management would be top on the list of priorities for Petrobas as well as the rest of the stake holders.

            It is simply closed-minded to try to close down knowledge from the outset.

            • s y d

              pike river anyone?

            • wtl

              You are assuming that the company will be exposed to this risk. While the US government certainly has the clout to take on a big multinational oil company to ensure they pay for any damage caused, the NZ government does not. Petrobras could structure things so as to avoid any liability, especially considering our government has shown time and time again it will bend over backwards to cater for the interests of big business.
              Besides, the worst case scenarios for Petrobras is they have to pay some money to compensate us for the damage caused. The worst case scenarios for us is coastline of much of our country is ruined. Not everything can be replaced with money.

              • tsmithfield

                You’re speculating about a lot of things. Lets just find out if there is anything worth anything down there then have the debate.

                • wtl

                  The point is the protesters have already decided no amount of oil is worth the risk. Therefore, there is nothing wrong or unusual with protesting even at the exploration phase. There is no reason for them to have to wait until “The Right Time To Protest, as approved by tsmithfield”.

                  • tsmithfield

                    Yep. Just as I said. Fingers in the ears going na na na na.

                    All you greenies should go back to riding in horses and carts and travelling on sail-boats if you really have the courage of your convictions. Otherwise, depending on oil for your daily lives and protesting against searching for it is hypocrisy in its most absolute form.

                    No wait. Horses produce greenhouse gasses, so I guess you’re not allowed those either.

                    • wtl

                      No your argument is not logical. It is hypocritical to use oil but protest against all oil extraction. But it is not hypocritical to use oil but protest against SOME forms of oil extraction.

                    • tsmithfield

                      Your logic would be sound if there were other sources of oil to be discovered that involve forms of oil extraction that were safe and easy. But as you well know, most of those sources have been found leaving the more difficult ones such as deep sea sources. Because greenies are using oil from safe and easy sources they are helping to bring closer the day when we need to be tapping the more difficult and dangerous sources.

                      Therefore, the charge of hypocrisy stands.

                    • wtl

                      No, my logic is sound because currently most oil is not being obtained from these sources. It is not hypocritical to protest against deep sea extraction as long as one is willing to accept that this means we will have to stop using so much oil in the future and/or pay a higher price for it.

                    • tsmithfield

                      No. It is hypocritical. This is because some and progressively more oil is being sourced from deep-sea type of extraction. You haven’t got a clue whether you are using oil from that type of source or not. To be non-hypocritical you should be requesting a warranty from your oil/petrol supplier that they only use oil from “safe” sources.

                    • wtl

                      I knew you would suggest that. Since oil goes into a general pool, what you are suggesting is not currently possible. In addition, implementing such a system would be a nightmare and involve a huge unproductive overhead cost. Instead, the best way of achieving the aim of ensuring the oil supply does not come from such sources such as deep sea extraction is to protest/disrupt such endeavours. It is a workable strategy. Lobbying for an “Safe Oil Certificate”(TM) is not.

                    • tsmithfield

                      Hmmm. A pragmatic argument to justify an ideological position. You’re on quicksand there, mate.

            • bbfloyd

              even easier to see why tory apologists resort to name calling before actually attempting to discuss reality. no basic comprehension of what that might be.
              cute horse you’re on there.

            • Roger

              Lessons have been learned from the BP incident. There is no way a  company would want to be exposed to the sort of financial hit that BP  took. So, it is reasonable to assume that risk management would be top  on the list of priorities for Petrobas as well as the rest of the stake  holders.
              Rather than making the assumption do you have evidence that the lessons have really been learned and risk management is the number one priority? Considering the lobbying by petrol companies against safety regulations the US has been trying to introduce, and the fact that Petrobas is currently working on a deep sea drilling site off the coast of Brazil that is more techically difficult than the Gulf of Mexico suggest otherwise. Many stakeholders do put risk management as a high priority; some governments try but are set upon by lobbyists, insurance companies will raise premiums, members of the public who have a vested interest in protecting the area will protest but John Key is being a stupid tosser

    • Roger 10.2

      The issues of risk management can be addressed? It is not so simple really, the oil companies like to address safety concerns by lobbying against them and shutting down meaningful moves that may actually provide any mitigation against the risk. Even the US has had trouble trying to pass legislation even as the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico was happening before their eyes. Imagine how the discussion on risk management would work with John Key, perhaps another episode of New Zealand’s government giving crybaby business people a handout of tax payers money for inconveniencing them.

  11. Tiger Mountain 11

    How our country has fallen, in the 70s the Kirk Labour Government sailed a navy frigate, with cabinet minister on board, to officially protest French nuclear testing in the Pacific. 

    And now we have Shonkey immediately offering a disproportionate and possibly illegal response to Greenpeace, who like Sea Shepherd are doing the ‘right thing’ for all our futures. Citizens organisations have to make the running on the important environmental issues these days because we have such a gutless corporate focused government.

    • Alwyn 11.1

      We must also remember that in the 70s the Kirk Government signed up to the Maui project, producing lots of gas and condensate from offshore oil wells. I am quite sure that Norman Kirk would NOT have tolerated nutty demonstrators interfering with this project.
      Actually if you believe the stories that were floating around at the time there was only one name in the “ballot” to pick the Cabinet Minister. Fraser Coleman was regarded as one who would never be missed in Wellington 

      • Tiger Mountain 11.1.1

        Norm Kirk also campaigned on “take the bikes off the bikies” I can’t remember if any Triumphs or Nortons were ever confiscated. Hmm, similar to non ‘Crusher Collins’. Somewhat short lived communes-Ohu were also resourced in the Kirk era. Obviously contradictory currents existed in the same administration.

        The point is the symbolism of the action against the French tests was more important in the long run. It lent a kind of legitimacy to the nuclear free movement. No longer “nutters”. Just as Greenpeace and iwi represent the future in this peak oil showdown with Petrobas. It is not going to be Shonkey well remembered in history.

    • Bazar 11.2

      And now we have Shonkey immediately offering a disproportionate and possibly illegal response to Greenpeace, who like Sea Shepherd are doing the ‘right thing’ for all our futures.
      And who elected greenpeace to do whats best for us? By what authority can they tell other bussinesses what they can and can’t do?

  12. I applaud the activists and their activism and i really am pleased that the framing of the action is to support tangata whenua. Here, just like around the world, indigenous peoples are leading the battle to protect our land and sea. Kia kaha!

  13. Bored 13

    See the Greens have asked Shonkey why the Navy does not go out to support anti whaling efforts, only goes out to support oil explorers?

    • Tigger 13.1

      This whole armed forces thing is going to backfire big time on Key.  Expect shitstorm in 3…2…

  14. anarcho 14

    Cheerleading for corporate activism…. the disempowered watch the ‘specialists’ from the sidelines, pay your sub for the mag and proceed as normal…
    but on the up side I’m looking forward to the navy breaking down as it surely will…

    • Bored 14.1

      Dont joke too loudly about breaking down…there is something good to be said about the reliability of old fashioned boilers and triple expansion steam engines.

    • jojo 14.2

      ‘anarcho’ – this is not “corperate activism” – this is Te Whanau a Apanui, and they are being supported by Greenpeace, The Nuclear Free Seas Flotilla, Forest and Bird Society, 350 Aotearoa, Coal Action Network Aotearoa, Coromandel Watchdog, and Board Riders Against Drilling, amongst others – these people are largely volunteer-based groups, who are giving up their own time and energy, volunteering their boats, and so on to take action. These people are neither ‘disempowered’ nor ‘specialists’ – they’re just getting on with it.

      • anarcho 14.2.1

        it isn’t? looks and sounds like Greenpeace to me…
        yes I’m aware of the many groups behind the scene, ‘behind’ as in get in behind and collect subs while we race about in our flash speed boats in our flash-as arctic gear with our placards that face the cameras and not the fucking boat…
        Greenpeace is corporate activism and it does disempower people by creating an illusion that ‘change’ can only be conducted by special people; it separates ‘activism’ from normal people and life.
        ‘Normal people’ tell me, where are they?
        Greenpeace may be ‘supporting’ this action but they’re way out in front in the media and I’m sure sub numbers will be climbing this week… I’m with you on the normal people getting on with it, but Greenpeace behave like politicians who turn up at angry community meetings with the press in tow to take over.

        • todd

          I would not say that the sailboats or zodiacs are particularly flash anarcho. I think Greenpeace are playing a pivotal role here as spokespeople for the majority of New Zealanders. Their numbers are built up from a wide range of New Zealanders and people from around the World. You can think of them as special if you like, but they seem pretty normal to me. Many good people are dedicating a lot of time to this cause. For you to accuse Greenpeace of grandstanding seems rather ridiculous. Just in case you weren’t aware, the placards had words on both sides. Clearly 99% of te Whanau a Apanui voting against Petrobras should make you recalculate your opinion. You should also realise that other countries have closed down Petrobras’ deep sea oil rigs because of safety concerns.
          Contrast that with the National Government that has undertaken little to no consultation with East Coasters or local iwi, implemented prehistoric laws of confiscation so that New Zealanders have no claim to those resources, have done secret deals to grant Petrobras the license, removed taxes for deep sea drilling so there is minimal return for New Zealand, provided a multitude of false information to the media, used New Zealanders hard earned tax dollars to path the way for oil exploration, uses our money to send the Police and Navy without any proper legal mandate to do so, probably has personal investments in Petrobras and completely ignores peoples concerns. The same people who are New Zealand citizens and have a right to be heard.

  15. millsy 15

    I’d probably see the oil, gas and coal industries as nessesary evils, but not really keen on involving the navy and airforce on this one, too banana republic-y.

  16. Afewknowthetruth 16

    The dominant culture is based on violence. Occupation of lands using violence and theft of resources is a common theme in the histories of most nations.  

    Nowadays violence is not so overt, but it’s there all the time. Oil is extracted from places like Nigeria and the Middle East using violence against the evironment and violence against people who oppose looting.  The Athabasca region of Canada is being turned into a moonscape so that oil can be extracted from tar sands; anyone who opposes that gets incarcerated or killed. We are killing people in Afghanistan in order to make it safe for western corporations to extract resources.

    Most western nations’ military forces have morphed into protection agencies for transnational corporations. What we are witnessing is a natural consequence of corporations becoming more powerful than governments. 

    As long as the people of NZ want to drive cars and enjoy lifestyles based on consumption of the planet we live on  (and that arguably amounts to around 99% of New Zealanders at the moment), the violence connected with resource extraction will continue, and the environement will continue to be rapidly degraded. 

    • prism 16.1

      Afkttruth – I think you’re right that 99% of nz population want to continue to enjoy their lifestyles.  We drive cars which are very useful to us, so lets pressure the government to adopt some new technology so we avoid using oil and don’t grab food stocks for fuel and are more energy efficient.  Good science, thoughtful policies, and ACTION from these smug, self-satisfied, well-fed politicians whose brains seem to have sunk to their bums.
      Look at the game playing between usa democrats and republicans.  They need to be thinking of all the people and making positive policies for the good of the country.  But no. The usa commentator on Radio NZ Jack Hitt said this morning that Obama can only talk about cuts now.  Cut that man out of the PR photograph, and see the truth – just the outline of a good president.  Guts to build prosperity for all with sustainability. No. Just an empty protean shape
      .  We don’t want to follow the us lead but I fear that John Key is a fan of them.  No vision for a better and thriving NZ.

      • Robert Atack 16.1.1

        “so lets pressure the government”
        P quite a lot of us spent the Labour years demanding the then ‘criminals in charge'(CC) actually did something positive for the people of New Zealand.
        Many of us gave the Ministry Of Economic Development, Pete Hodgson, Trevor Mallard, Dunhoven, Darren Hughes, and many more , ample information regarding Peak Oil (I mailed each MP about 5 DVDs, 600 over 3 years), we spent a lot of our personal resources and time trying to alert the general dumb public, (14,000 DVDs from me) not only did we focus on MPs but also the media. I had a 2 year trespass order from Pankhurst (Dompost) , and was fined $1,660 by National.
        AFKTT appeared on TV at least 3 times (also arrested and locked up for about 6 water retained hours). We have both run for parliament (only to use the election proses to highlight peak oil and the lack of preparedness by the CC) and council and mayor of our prospective towns.  
        So yeah ‘lets pressure the government’ 

  17. prism 17

    Marie Leadbetter sent an email to Radionz expressing concern for the safety of the protesters against oil surveying from the danger posed by aggressive action by government.   She noted the case of the Peace flotilla against the nuclear ship incursion from the USA.  Flying helicopters over the protesters created turbulence and suction that resulted in people being thrown into the water.  That was the cause of the danger of being at sea at that time.  One canoeist was plucked out of the water when very close to the propellers/turbines of what I think was the submarine USS Pintado which visited in 1978.
    antispam – accidental – hah!

  18. Steve Withers 18

    I heard the interview with Hekia Parata (sp?) on NatRad. She said police had jurisdiction, but couldn’t say the law that applies out in the EEZ is the same as on land. Kathryn Ryan was happy to put words in Parata’s mouth about what the police might do, but I noted Parata’s repeated “if the law is broken”. It may well be that swimming in an inconvenient place in the EEZ isn’t a breach of the law. You’re not trespassing. You’re not threatening the Petrobras boat or damaging it in any way. You’re not making anything unsafe for people on the PetroBras ship. You’re in international waters where NZ asserts certain resource rights and some elements of sovereignty.

    It may be that there is nothing the police can do if Greenpeace do not interfere physically with the ship or threaten it or anyone on it.  They are outside NZ’s *territorial* waters. The rules are different. There is no piracy happening here. Just “bad manners” among boaties in close proximity.

    I also got the sense National would happy for the public to be blurry on the law so they could act illegally if they need to and the public would support it. I do NOT know the law here, but Parata’s very careful use of language made me think “weasel words”.

  19. prism 19

    Very meaty controversy on Radionz this morning about the practices of the profit-making electricity supplier around the Ohakune area.  It really demonstrates how electricity should be government owned, and run for the public good not just SOE or private shareholder profit.  

    Businesses during the winter season, important for our tourism, need a lot of electricity both through peak hours and after, which is charged at high rates.  They are then charged at the same rate for the rest of the year.  And their supply charges are very high.  I think the camping ground was paying $1,000 per month.  From Jan 2011  Waikato Times.
    Customers of The Lines Company (TLC), which services 20,000 homes, farms and businesses from Otorohanga to Ohakune, are being asked to forward complaints to the Electricity and Gas Commissioner after changes were made to TLC’s pricing plan last year. </emConsumers are charged a monthly rate based on the highest three hours of usage over a year.
    Stuff has more electric charge

    • millsy 19.1

      Probably irrelevant, but I actually work for a company that holds the meter reading contracts in various areas for the major electricity retailers, and to be honest, I really think that the electricity market that Bradford set up, and the practise of outsourcing, is really the reason why power prices are so damn high.

      So much ticket clipping, duplication, confusion, it is unbeliveable.

  20. vto 20

    Since when do our armed forces so easily become involved in civil disturbance matters on such a tiny scale? This is a police matter, not fucking military.

    Mind you, it is entirely in accordance with John Key turning a blind eye to the beating of “looters” in Christchurch by police and army.

    This is most definitely not my New Zealand. Very unnerving developments.

  21. randal 21

    greenpeace get the bragging rights but what this saga means is that the government have no intention whatsoever of reducing our dependence on deep sea oil and in fact our present level of economic activitiy and general well being is dependent on mortgaging future prospects.
    so if greenpeace are serious then they have to say how we carry on in a state of primitive autarchy?

    • PeteG 21.1

      so if greenpeace are serious then they have to say how we carry on in a state of primitive autarchy?

      They should, but don’t expect any practical solutions.
      The current overuse of diminishing resources is a major issue, but if the Greens got their way and all new oil exploration was halted and all nuclear energy was halted and all mining was halted we would have a much bigger, possibly calamitous problem in the short term.

    • Steve Withers 21.2

      Randal: If primitive anarchy is our fate without oil, then it is inevitable as oil is both a finite resource and now moving into depletion phase. Greenpeae has already laid out a programme as to how this might be addressed. So have many, many other groups. Are you aware of those proposals? If not…why not? They are all over the place if one looks.

  22. HEADS-UP! Does the Bank of America have shares in Petrobas?
    If YES – then will John Key personally profit from oil drilling because he has shares in the Bank of America?
    John Key has shares in the Bank Of America.
    (Register of pecuniary interests for NZ MPs).            Pg 36
    John Key admits on 3 February 2011 at a Grey Power meeting that he has shares in the Bank of America.  (3 minute You tube clip)
    Does the Bank of America have shares in Petrobas?
    The Bank of America was one of the banks which helped to manage the $70 billion worth of Petrobas shares sales last year.
    Petrobras Raises Record $70 Billion Through Share Sale
    “Petrobras said banks appointed to manage the share sale also have a greenshoe option to buy another 188 million shares worth about 5 billion reals. Citigroup (NYSE: C), Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS), Credit Suisse (NYSE: CS), HSBC, JPMorgan, Deutsche Bank (NYSE: DB), Societe Generale, and a handful of Brazilian and Spanish banks were appointed to manage the share sale.”
    Even if the Bank of America have just acted as ‘financiers’ as opposed to being shareholders – they will still presumably be getting paid for their services, and will thus be financially benefiting?
    If yes – wouldn’t that mean John Key would arguably personally profit from oil drilling on the East Cape?
    Just whose interests is John Key looking after here?
    His own?
    His corporate mate$?
    NOT a good look for the Prime Minister of NZ – ‘perceived’ to be the ‘least corrupt country in the world’?
    Sending in the navy to arguably help protect your investment?
    Penny Bright

  23. exit lane 23

    Apart from the major environmental risks drill baby drill is an incredibly risky all eggs in one basket gamble for our economy.
    We may not find any oil, (Exxon have pulled out from the Deep South Basin) even if we do its 15 years before any oil flows but the oil crisis for our economy is … like … now.
    We don’t refine our oil so still remain at the mercy of oil exporters, and regardless we still pay the world price – which even now is unaffordable for many and will be totally out of reach for most in a few short years.

  24. Has Petrobas, or the company carrying out the ‘exploratory work’  made a complaint to the NZ Government or the NZ Police about the protests?
    If not – who has?
    Is John Key reacting to a complaint – yes or no?
    Has a complaint been actually been made, by anybody? – yes or no?
    Rather an interesting point – don’t you think?
    Who has triggered this reaction from John Key?
    Upon what is it based?
    Or is John Key just sending in the navy to arguably help protect his own personal investment?
    How ‘shonky’ is that?
    Penny Bright

    • Tiger Mountain 24.1

      A potential conflict of interest for sure for the PM. Will anyone care though apart from us bloggers Penny? I reckon the Petrobas thing has legs however, a similar group that supported the mining issue in numbers, plus local iwi, is starting to spark up on Facebook etc about the inappropriate threat of using of state forces so soon.

  25. Carol 25

    There’s a bit of ducking and diving going on between Hide & a Green MP (David Clendon) in the House, asking supplementaries about safety procedures concerning the Petrobras exploration.  Lockwood told Hide off for using the term “eco-fascists”.

  26. Steve Withers 26

    tsmithfield: There is no “hypocrisy” in working to change the way we use energy and having to live in that world until it changes.

    You’re setting up a straw man…and accusing anyone who ignores it as the waste of time it is of being a hypocrite. No thanks. It’s your arbitrary imposition….not mine. I’m not interested in your games and won’t play them. I also don’t want oil from the sea bed. It isn’t necessary. What is necessary it taking seriously the need to move rapidly to a post-oil / low-oil world.

    The longer we delay, the worse it will get.

    I want the NZ government to lead the way on energy conservation and moving to a post-oil, lower energy world NOW so NZ can be a model the rest of the world can look to for how to live and prosper in the without cheap oil.

    Even best estimate have oil well into fade-out mode within 50 years. Why not start now? There is no value in raping the planet, poisoning hte seas just to avoid the inevitable……yet this is what you appear to support.

    I’m not backing such a short-sighted view. There is opportunity in change…and you would have us ignore it. National is the rear-vision party. Drill, baby, drill is no vision for the inevitable future with less oil and all of it more expensive.

    • PeteG 26.1

      Wouldn’t it be prudent to do both – move as quickly as it’s feasible to lower energy use and renewables, and at the same time allow investigation into oil reserves in case it is necessary and deemed safe enough to recover them. Deep sea recovery safety should improve as technology and practices improve.
      At least then we have choices.

      • Colonial Viper 26.1.1

        At least then we have choices.

        Only if NZ demands a controlling ownership stake in the deep sea oil operations. Because if it doesn’t it will be foreign corporates who have the “choices”.
        What’s the bet that Key folds over like a leaf, same as with Warner Bros.

  27. Samuel Hill 27

    Hekia Parata made a complete fool of herself today in Parliament. I will try find a link to questions she “answered” in regard to Petrobras exploration.

      • rosy 27.1.1

        Interesting… one Part-time inspector for all oil installations, not one inspector

        edit – said 400 people trained for essentially port and river spills is adequate for oil spill expertise and then objected to David Clendon tabling environmental regulatory regime reports – one an MED report!

    • kriswgtn 27.2

      That wouldnt be too hard- everytime she opens her troll mouth she does it
      The women is a joke

  28. PeteG 28

    Some recent developments.

    Are you happy to have oil and gas exploration in New Zealand Waters?
    Yes  2656 votes, 75.9%
    No     843 votes, 24.1%
    Oil company protestors issued with trespass notices
    Police have formally warned the protest flotilla off the East Cape not to get too close to the survey ship or it’s support vessel.

    Not abiding by the notices can incur a maximum fine of $10,000 or 12 months imprisonment.

    • lprent 28.1

      Curious – trespass notices are issued for a place or area. Ummmm… This could be interesting, I’ll bet that Greenpeace and others are looking at the legalities. This looks more like a restraining order….

      • Rich 28.1.1

        I’d be interested to know the legislation. The government is entitled to regulate EEZ activities by Order in Council, but it hasn’t done so as far as I can see.

        The EEZ *isn’t* NZ territory – NZ laws only apply there that specifically say so.

      • Jenny 28.1.2

        My feeling is that if the government’s overwhelming use of force on the water, manages to defeat that form of protest. Then the protests may have to move ashore.
        Just as in the nuclear ship protests any port that hosts these vessels needs to be besieged with public rallies and marches outside their gates. Until it becomes unviable to host these vessels there.

        No doubt they would then move to Australian ports, but I don’t think that this would be a problem for the protest movement.

        I heard on Radio New Zealand today that the same deep sea drilling technology is concerning to Australians as well.

        I am pretty sure that by now, Petrobras might be getting the idea, that they may be on a hiding to nothing. 

    • Colonial Viper 28.2

      I love it, NZ using military and legal power against environmental activists.
      How we have fallen.
      Don’t anyone complain the next Japanese whale hunting season!
      As for the oil and gas exploration why not ask the question first:
      “Do you think NZ’s reputation and economy would be damaged by an oil spill disaster similar to the one off the Gulf of Mexico”?
      followed by the popularity question

    • PeteG 28.3

      Some odd comments from Goff:

      The protesters’ rights to be heard must be ensured, Labour leader Phil Goff said.
      Police had a responsibility to ensure the safety of individuals and would respect the right of people to peacefully protest, he said.
      “I hope that both of those things can occur; safety and the right to peaceful protest.”

      The protesters don’t have to go out to sea to be heard.
      The individuals are surely primarily responsible for their own safety.
      And I wonder why Goff doesn’t seemed to consider the right of the survey vessel to carry out it’s lawful business?

      • Colonial Viper 28.3.1

        And I wonder why Goff doesn’t seemed to consider the right of the survey vessel to carry out it’s lawful business?

        Sometimes things can be “lawful” and shit at the same time

        • PeteG

          Ah, yeah, prospective Prime Ministers should pick and choose which laws suit their election strategy.

          • Pascal's bookie

            Of course they should. What laws is Goff ignoring?  

            Do you feel, based on the government’s statements, that the protesters can feel entirely comfortable that their rights will be protected? Or do you think that they could legitimately worry that the government is primarily concerned with petrobras’ rights?

            I’ve not seen anyone say that the government should do anything against petrobras, their rights seem secure enough.

            The leader of the ACT party, a member of the government, was today calling the protesters fac1sts and terrorists, the latter term is, of course, a term that relates to quite severe legal penalties. It’s quite loosely defined in general language, but I’d like to know how these people could possibly be defined as ‘terrorists’.

            I know you didn’t call them terrorists, but seeing you are worried about about the leader of the oppositions saying that private citizens rights should be protected, I’m wondering what your thoughts are about the members of the government calling these citizens ‘terrorists’.

            • todd

              There is the rights of the local iwi to consider as well. They have categorically said that they do not want Petrobras there. 99% voted against Petrobras. The Government has ignored the rights of indigenous people, it is ignoring the rights of the protestors and the rights of a majority of New Zealanders who do not want deep sea oil drilling.
              Whatever the law governing this area of the sea is, it does not discount the rights of Kiwis to protect New Zealand from privately owned overseas companies that have a terrible history of pollution. National should be a Government of the people, not big business.

              • Draco T Bastard

                There is the rights of the local iwi to consider as well.

                Nope. Territorial claims goes out 12 miles and where Petrobas is operating is more than 12 miles out. The Maori have no more rights out there than the rest of the NZ population and what rights we do have is by our claim on the EEZ.

                • todd

                  Draco, we’re talking about the effects of deep sea oil drilling, one of which is spills, something Petrobras has not ruled out. If there is a spill, the local iwi will be most affected and their rights to have a clean coastline where they can gather shellfish and fish should not be ignored. You wouldn’t like it if I came and dumped a load of shit in your kitchen would you?
                  Saying they have no rights is like saying the French are allowed to test Nuclear weapons in the Pacific Ocean because it is outside out territorial zone or that America can dump its nuclear waste 12 miles out because only one in ten barrels starts leaking radiation.
                  There are no proper safety measures, the likelihood of an “accident” is high. There are limited to no financial benefits for New Zealanders and we carry all the risk making deep sea oil drilling in New Zealand not worth while.
                  Saying that we should ignore the rights of the local iwi is like saying we should ignore what is happening in Iraq or Libya because we have no territorial rights in those areas. Such a foolish argument that I would not have expected from you.

            • PeteG

              At this stage I think terrorist is over the top. But deliberate disruption of others doing what they have the right to do, and putting people at risk, is also way over the top.
              I don’t know why Petrobas can’t just tell Greenpeace what course they will be on and if anyone deliberately gets in their way it is their own problem. But I guess trying to sort it out without raising risk levels is reasonable at this stage.
              Protesters have rights, but they don’t have the right to ride roughshod over other people’s rights.

              • Pascal's bookie

                So you agree that members of the government are being over top. So why is it a problem for the opposition to stick up for the rights of citizens?

                I don’t know why Petrobas can’t just tell Greenpeace what course they will be on and if anyone deliberately gets in their way it is their own problem

                Because they don’t have the right to do that. Laws and such like prevent it.

                However, if they feel strongly about it they have certain natural rights that can be exercised in a way that intersects with the legal rights in interesting ways.

                They could, as you seem to suggest, just start plowing over protesters. Nothing stopping them.

                It would be an extreme form of direct action, some might call it terrorism even.

                But still, if they felt that strongly, and were prepared to face the legal consequences of their actions in an attempt to win in the court of public opinion and eventually get the law that they don’t like changed, it’s their call to make.

                Though I do think hurting people is very morally suspect and strategically very risky, so one would have to feel that the law you were protesting was even more immoral. 

                I’d personally oppose them on that particular issue, but as long as they are prepared to accept the consequences, civil disobedience is ok by me. I’d not want any extra-judicial action taken against them but I would be asking that the law be upheld.

    • Draco T Bastard 28.4

      Funny thing about that poll. I voted in it, went to another page and was asked to vote in it again – which I did.

  29. Tigger 29

    Stupid comparision of the week…
    “Maori Party MP for Waiariki Te Ururoa Flavell compared sending the navy to monitor the protests to Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi’s military intervention against his people in a statement this afternoon.
    “We aren’t Libya so we shouldn’t be using our military against our own people – it is totally over the top for the Government to be using Navy resources in this way.”
    Don’t get me wrong, I agree that sending the navy is reprehensible but comparing that with what is going on in Libya is trite.

  30. Oleolebiscuitbarrell 30

    Why didn’t Greenpeace protest when Labour issued gas and oil exploration permits in 2007 to foreign companies for the Great Southern Basin?  

    Is it just too cold to protest down there, or something? 

    This must be why Labour is so quiet on the issue.  Four years ago David Parker was cooing:

    “Assuming exploration success, the country stands to earn significant revenue from royalties and taxes flowing from this investment, and it will assist in ensuring security of energy supply.”


    • todd 30.1

      What year did the Deep Sea Horizon explode and destroy the Gulf of Mexico? When did National pass laws so that nobody actually owns those areas being explored but increased their legal claim and how much consultation was there with local iwi?

      So what you’re advocating for is further protest and support from Labour? Good for you Oleo.

  31. Chris 31

    My personal opinion is that we should explore for oil and various other minerals.

    • todd 31.1

      My personal opinion is that our natural ecosystems are worth more than what overseas companies can earn for themselves and we should not contribute to climate change. We have alternative industries that can create far more jobs with far greater returns for New Zealand.

      • PeteG 31.1.1

        We have alternative industries that can create far more jobs with far greater returns for New Zealand.

        Details please.

        • todd

          How many jobs do you think will be created in renewable industries if they have an investment of $80 Million? How much better off would New Zealand be if we reduced our one in five children growing up in poverty? How much public transport would that money buy and how much would that save us in transportation costs?
          There is only one earth, risking it for a few bucks is just stupid!

        • Puddleglum

          Well, we could ask our government. They have grand plans for ‘turbo-charging’ and ‘step changing’ the economy – and I assume those plans don’t depend on some ‘Beverley Hillbillies’ type strike of Texas Tea out in the deep oceans?

          Presumably, therefore, we’ll be just dandy without finding oil?

  32. Jenny 32
    The government may call out the navy, and the army and maybe even the SAS. But this won’t stop the protests.

    First they ignore you,
    Then they mock you, 
    Then they attack you 
    Then you win.
    • Jenny 32.1

      Obviously the government thinking, is that the ignoring, and mocking strategies are not a goer, and so went straight for the king hit.

      Personally I would have thought a half dozen small yachts and kayaks and swimmers would be no match over the long haul for a large deep sea ocean crossing ship, provisioned and funded out of Tuaranga from the bottomless pockets of a huge oil company….

      Quoting Ghandi, “when they attack you, you win.”


      • rosy 32.1.1

        I’m not sure it’s the cost that is the biggest issue (although it is enormously expensive) it’s that the exploration ship is not owned by the oil company. There aren’t many of them and they have to be leased, you have it for a certain amount of time, with big penalties if you don’t get it back when you say you will. More importantly because they are in short supply you next window for a re-lease could be months away. So no matter how well-provisioned it can’t just sit out there waiting for the protesters to leave. I guess between leasing windows is when the exploration company might say it’s not worth the hassle and that is why the govt is going for the strong-arm action now.

        • Oleolebiscuitbarrell

          Thank God you got her, rosy.  I was a bit worried the Jenny was talking to herself.

          • todd

            Olea, you’re being a dick again.
            There are a couple of things here… Petrobras is not funding the Navy and Police intervention, we are with our taxes. Petrobras has given a deadline whereas the protestors have said they will not stop until Petrobras goes home.
            National is still using disinformation, mocking and attacks. Unfortunately they are now using force without any lawful mandate to do so.

          • rosy

            Don’t mistake explanation for disagreement. Bringing in the military – and some complained about nanny state a while back. I’m rather upset about dictator-state
            Until the government sorts out it’s resource consents management in the EEZ, woeful risk management (i part-time inspector for ALL rigs) and oil spill response capabilities I can’t say I support any deep sea exploration. I’d be interested to know why leave was refused to table official documents about this in parliament today. Dave Clendon made another important point in question-time today – Petrobras don’t have a right to drill a well, they have an obligation to do so.

  33. I’ve spent some time compiling the views of a number of different parties (political and otherwise) involved in the anti-Petrobras protests.
    All in one place so you can see who is saying what.
    Penny Bright

  34. todd 34

    National Imperialists Courting Disaster


    Greenpeace and local East Coast iwi had a victory on Sunday. They peacefully halted oil exploration off the East Coast of New Zealand. This was achieved by going for a little swim in the ocean that just happened to be in front of Petrobras’ seismic testing ship, which consequently had to alter course. Awesome! I’m going to have to buy them some beer.

  35. Samuel Hill 35

    Some info about Petrobras..


  36. Has anyone considered the geopolitical consequences of NZ finding a large oilfield?

    Looks to me that suddenly finding that you have a lot of ‘hydrocarbons’ (and not being one of the ‘big boys’) is a recipe for having your economy – not to mention your country – ‘annexed’ in all but name (sometimes in name as well). (The entire middle east, Timor L’Este, West Africa, Venezuela, the ‘Stans’, Burma …)

    The ‘requests’ made to our government from competing ‘big boys’ could put us in a bit of a bind, come peak oil.

    I’m crossing my fingers nothing is found.

    • Jenny 36.1

      Rather than cross our fingers and hope that they don’t find oil. Let us all support the movement to make sure that they don’t get the chance.

      capcha – “waste” as in, “laid to waste”, which I think what you are saying happens to countries unfortunate to have large oil reserves.
      Every one of them a gruesome dictatorship often with Western backing. 

      • rosy 36.1.1

        I think having oil could be good if regulated correctly, which it isn’t at the moment – especially deep sea, and the funds are used properly. It doesn’t have to be a gruesome dictatorship. Norway has done very well with their oil funds model. Especially when comparing like-with-like on the other side of the North Sea. The Norwegians set up and oil fund that performs well, whereas the Scots, if they were independent would not have had their money flogged off them by a Tory government. The McCrone report that highlights the problem was secret for 30 years shows billions of $$$ generated could have transformed Scotland but the chance was lost.

        • RedLogix

          As much as I admire your optimism Rosy, this Tory govt will do the exact opposite of the Norwegian model.
          As TR put it before, the electorate has voted to put the interests of big business ahead of their own. Us ordinary people have to be grateful you know…for being allowed to breath the same oxygen as these superior beings.

          • rosy

            I’m not optimistic. The govt is not paying attention to reports that says oil spill response and and the regulatory regime are inadequate. There is little show of a plan to use oil funds the way Norway has, so we’ll end up like Scotland IMO. If the fix the regulatory regime and have a plan for the profits I might be a little more optimistic – but that involves a plan.

      • chris73 36.1.2

        Bring on the oil I say (as long as theres an amount worth mining of course)

    • Colonial Viper 36.2

      Anything less than a 4Bb or 5Bb field in a deep sea sense is a yawn. Otherwise its just expensive and small.
      It needs to be at least that big to get the oil industry execs excited.
      NB a 5 billion barrel field will feed the needs of the United States for 8-9 months before it runs out.

  37. Jenny 37

    Looking again at the photo at the head of this post, I couldn’t help but imagine what it would like to be the swimmer clinging to that buoy with the cold swells of the deep ocean all around.

    Sheer fear and courage, mixed in equal part.

    Viva le audace! 

  38. Key selling off NZ 38

    How much would NZ make from any oil? The government has not been upfront or clear about anything. they didn’t consult, and now order the Navy around on behalf of a foreign oil company? what is this Iraq, Libya Afghanistan?
    Key is a money mercenary, and has acted disgracefully. Hekia and Brownlee have been useless energy ministers. national wants to sell off energy SOEs this year. Simon Power is lucky he is quitting, otherwise people would want his blood next winter when power prices rise.

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