August 18, 2014
Few jobs in far north oil plan
A Greenpeace campaigner says there is no support among far north iwi for oil drilling off the coast of Kaitaia.
Norwegian state owned oil company Statoil met locals last week at the invitation of Te Runanga o Te Rarawa.
The three-hour meeting ended when kaumatua Selwyn Clark up-ended the tables where the oil executives were sitting.
Mike Smith says that’s an indication of the depth of feeling about the issue.
He says Statoil may have a licence from the government to explore, but it doesn’t have a social licence from the people to create an oil field within 20 kilometres of the coast.
"Tourism’s one of the greatest employment sectors up here and if we have an oil spill on our beaches it will end up like Tauranga a couple of years ago with massive cancellations, and they just go through a couple of seasons of having no income and that can break small companies. There's jobs already up here that are at risk. This idea there is going to be new jobs created is fiction," he says.
Mr Smith says while Northland MP Mike Sabin is promoting oil exploration as a job creator for the region, the company has confirmed that all its boats will be serviced out of New Plymouth.
FOR THE FULL INTERVIEW WITH MIKE SMITH CLICK ON THE LINK
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