The New Zealand Green Party submitted the Kiwi Bid to the Government today with over 14,000 signatures from New Zealanders who want “to protect our oceans and beaches from risky deep sea drilling”.
Today is the final day of the Block Offer 2013 non-financial tender process where oil companies submit bids to the Government for petroleum exploration permits, including 189,000 square kilometres of ocean, much of it which is in deep water off the west coast of the North Island and the east coast of the South Island. The Green Party is putting up a competing bid – the Kiwi Bid – which asks the Government to leave these areas free of “risky deep sea drilling in order to protect the New Zealand coastline from a catastrophic oil spill”
“Today companies from around the world will be submitting their bids to have the right to explore for oil in our ocean. But the Green Party is proudly putting in an opposing bid – the Kiwi Bid – signed by New Zealanders who want to protect our coastlines from catastrophic oil spills,” said Green Party energy spokesperson Gareth Hughes.
” We’ve had to get creative in voicing our opposition to deep sea oil drilling because the Government has, at nearly every turn, shut the public out from having say on this risky activity.”
“When the Government is looking through the stack of bids from the oil companies they will find ours, backed by over 14,000 New Zealanders. It will make sure that the Government knows that New Zealanders want to protect our waters, not give them away to oil companies.
“We’ve had to get creative in voicing our opposition to deep sea oil drilling because the Government has, at nearly every turn, shut the public out from having say on this risky activity.
“The Government did not consult the majority of New Zealanders on its Block Offer 2012 nor its Block Offer 2013, and has just announced it won’t for Block Offer 2014 either.
“Furthermore, the Government recently announced plans to strip away New Zealanders’ rights to oppose applications for marine consents for exploratory deep sea drilling.
“This proposal is undemocratic enough, but to add insult to injury, the Government proposes to pass this measure into law without going through a select committee. This means the proposal will not have the usual scrutiny that most law changes get.
“Energy Minister Simon Bridges recently used the same anti-democratic short-cut to pass his ‘Anadarko Amendment’ which limits protesting at sea.
“This Government is trampling on New Zealanders rights in order to roll out the red carpet for large foreign oil companies.
“But New Zealanders know that deep sea drilling is not worth the risk. While there are some short-term economic benefits, they don’t justify risking a catastrophic spill that could cost us billions.
“Rather than backing the oil industry the National Government would do better to encourage other sectors of the economy, like clean energy, that build on our valuable clean green brand and don’t risk a major oil spill,” said Hughes.
Press Release, September 26, 2013