Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones welcomes the opportunity to work with New Zealand’s energy sector as the country begins a just transition to a low carbon economy.
The Government has today announced no new permits for offshore oil exploration, limiting block offer 2018 to new onshore acreage in Taranaki. However, existing permits will not be affected, which was the priority of New Zealand First in negotiations.
As is the normal practice, existing permit holders will continue to be able to apply for permit extensions and change of conditions in line with New Zealand Petroleum and Minerals protocols.
“Last week I launched the Taranaki Regional Economic Development action plan, which identifies ‘four futures’ for the region, including energy,” Shane Jones said.
“The initial money the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) committed to investigate establishing Taranaki as an internationally recognised leader in clean energy technology is an example of the collaboration needed between Government and the energy sector going forward.
“I was heartened by the conversations I had with various stakeholders, who show a genuine willingness to lead the way and seize the opportunities that the transition provides us with.
“The block offer does not affect any jobs that are already there. New Zealand First’s support is predicated by its commitment to protect the rights of existing permit holders to ensure certainty for all of those in the industry that currently hold exploration, prospecting and mining permits – these permits continue as far out as 2046.
“With ten years’ worth of natural gas consented, plus potentially billions of dollars of natural gas reserves permitted but yet to be consented, we can ensure economic returns and security of supply.
“With a long-term plan, we can protect jobs and provide the time needed for economies that have traditionally relied on fossil fuels, such as Taranaki, to diversify and future proof.
“The just transition will not happen overnight so there’s no need for scaremongering and, while it will undoubtedly pose challenges, it also provides opportunity through investment in new technology and new industries.
“I’ll be working to ensure our regions are supported to tap into these opportunities and will be encouraging clean energy proposals that meet the criteria of the PGF,” Shane Jones said.
Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods has today announced the start of consultation with iwi and hapū on the proposed Block Offer 2018 release area for petroleum exploration permits.
The proposed release area is restricted to the onshore Taranaki Basin, and covers a 1,703 square kilometre area.
“The onshore Taranaki Basin has a long history of oil and gas production and exploration,” said Megan Woods.
“The purpose of the consultation is to identify areas of sensitivity or significance that I need to be made aware of. This could include sites that might need to be protected for their cultural, social or spiritual significance.
“Iwi and hapū can request the removal of areas within blocks, or put conditions on any permits over certain areas to protect them.
“To be clear, the area for consultation includes a small amount of conservation land – approximately 2 percent of the entire release area. All conservation land will be excluded from the final tenders.
Iwi and hapū will have 40-working days to make a submission and the final area for tender is expected to be announced in August.
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