December 02, 2019
Oil industry paid to run away
Ngāti Ruanui kaiarataki Debbie Ngarewa-Packer is calling on the Government to scrap oil and gas subsidies in the wake of news the Government may have to pay the $155 million decommissioning costs for the Tui Oil field.
Field owner Tamarind Taranaki has gone into voluntary administration, and there has been a small oil spill from the field this month.
Mrs Ngarewa-Packer, who is the Māori Party candidate for Te Tai Hauāuru, says Aotearoa has fringe companies like Tamarind operating in its waters and on land because the government offers the industry subsidies, tax breaks and split decommissioning costs.
She says concerns about the ability of Tamarind to foot the decommissioning bill were raised during the Environment Protection Agency consent hearings but fell on deaf ears.
She says the current review of the Crown Minerals Act offers the Government the opportunity to ensure that oil and gas is recognised as a sunset industry, which must include scrapping incentives and subsidies.
"New Zealand taxpayers are footing the bill for the recklessness of what is a multi-billion-dollar industry, while here in Taranaki we are suffering the environmental consequences of their negligence.
"It's good that last year the Government closed the loophole that meant Tamarind did not have to go through financial checks in the consenting process, but we also need to scrap incentives and put a ban on new onshore exploration," she says.
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