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Govt introduces bill to halt new offshore oil exploration

Press Release – New Zealand Government

The Government has today introduced a Bill to give effect to its decision to halt the offering of new offshore oil and gas exploration permits, and has kept its commitment to protect existing permits, says Minister for Energy and Resources Megan Woods.Government introduces bill to halt new offshore oil exploration

The Government has today introduced a Bill to give effect to its decision to halt the offering of new offshore oil and gas exploration permits, and has kept its commitment to protect existing permits, says Minister for Energy and Resources Megan Woods.

“In April, the Prime Minister announced that this Government would not be granting any new offshore oil and gas exploration permits, but that we would be protecting existing permits and the rights associated with them. Today’s Bill shows we have kept that commitment.

“The Crown Minerals (Petroleum) Amendment Bill will mean that future Block Offers will exclude new offshore exploration permits, and that Block Offers will be limited to onshore Taranaki.

“All existing permits are protected and will be allowed to run their full course – meaning we have many years’ worth of gas supply remaining and exploration will continue.

“Given the need to proceed with Block Offer 2018 under these new settings in a prompt manner, we propose that this Bill will have a four-week select committee process to enable the public and industry to have their say on the changes and ensuring that tender documents for the offer will be made available in early 2019.

“This is part of our plan for a 30-year transition away from a reliance on fossil fuels and towards an economy powered by homegrown clean energy.

“The long term picture is this: the world is changing. Climate change is happening and the world is racing to adapt and to stop its most damaging effects.

“We can’t expect to rely on fossil fuels for our jobs and prosperity forever. The world is moving away from them and we have to be ready. That’s why we are planning for the transition now to ensure we are creating jobs in new industries and in new forms of energy.

“It’s about lifting our sights beyond the three-year electoral cycle and planning for the next 30 years. This Government isn’t going to bury our head in the sand and leave tackling climate change to chance. We’re planning for the future now.

“We’ve established a Just Transitions Unit within MBIE to begin this work and we will be investing millions of dollars through the Provincial Growth Fund and the Green Investment Fund in new energy sources to create jobs in our regions.

“This Bill is the first tranche of a review of the Crown Minerals Act and is only to give effect to the Government’s decision about oil and gas permits. Tranche two will be a much wider review of the Act that will enable stakeholders to take part in future proofing the Crown Minerals Act.

“These changes will help us keep ahead of a changing world and are an important part of this Government’s long term plan for our economy,” says Megan Woods.

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