The well-known National list MP for the Mana/Kapiti area, Hekia Parata, is not so well-known for her role in encouraging more oil exploration in the seas not far from the disastrous Rena oil spill off the East Coast of the North Island.
Ms Parata, who herself comes from the East Coast, has stated publicly she and the Government are committed to ‘realising the potential’ of New Zealand’s petroleum basins.
In a lead story, the Sunday Star Times points out that, even while the authorities struggle to deal with the environmental devastation of the Rena oil leaks, the Government is pushing ahead with plans to tout our oil reserves to overseas buyers.
Ms Parata on oil
It quotes Ms Parata as stating:”New Zealand is blessed with an abundance of energy resources and the Government wants to use those resources in an environmentally safe way to secure our energy future.
“Oil and gas companies have emergency response plans in place as a matter of good business practice.”
Meanwhile, as the Times says, the Ministry of Economic Development is planning to get a provider to market to overseas oil exploration companies – with promotional workshops in London, Singapore and Houston.
But the Green Party’s marine spokesman, Gareth Hughes, MP, says the Government needs to call a halt to its marketing campaign and rethink its policy of allowing more offshore oil exploration.