Key dismisses Goff’s oil drilling moratorium as 'pure politics'
Fri, 14 Oct 2011 4:09p.m.
By Lloyd Burr
The Prime Minister has dismissed Labour leader Phil Goff's call for a moratorium on deep sea oil drilling because of the Rena disaster as "pure politics".
Mr Goff reacted to the disaster yesterday by announcing that Labour would put a stop to deep sea drilling until it can be proved safe - a totally new policy for the party.
But Prime Minister John Key said today that the National Government were not "environmental bandits" and were intent on deep sea drilling, which, he said, was entirely different to a shipping crash.
Amid increasing political division over the spill, Mana Party leader Hone Harawira called Mr Key a “bloody liar”
Mr Goff's newfound opposition to deep sea drilling has found support from Greenpeace, with campaigner Steve Abel saying they were “surprised and very, very pleased” that Labour had decided on the moratorium.
There is an increasingly heated political row over the Rena disaster with fears about deep-sea drilling from Labour, the Greens, New Zealand First, and the Mana Party who all say deep-sea drilling should not go ahead.
Mr Harawira said the Prime Minister is “telling a pack of lies” in saying there is no link between the effects of a shipping disaster and deep-sea drilling.
“He's a bloody liar, quite frankly. This is about oil spills and our ability to handle it…You ask any New Zealander in the country right now, have we handled this one well? And I bet you we get a 100 percent ‘No we haven't’,” Mr Harawira said.
John Key said this afternoon that his Government has always tried to balance “economic opportunities” with “environmental responsibilities”.
“We're not environmental bandits. If we don't believe drilling can take place in a way that is environmentally sustainable and wouldn't put at undue risk the environment, we wouldn't go with it.”
Deep sea drilling is currently at the exploration stage and recent attempts by oil companies on the East Coast’s Raukumara Basin was met by strong opposition by local iwi Te Whanau Apanui and Greenpeace.
There is also the possibility of deep-sea drilling in the Great Southern Basin and off the coast of Taranaki.
The Gulf of Mexico disaster was a deep-sea oil well and gushed out a massive 627,000 tonnes. By comparison, the Rena spill would be a maximum of 1700 tonnes of oil if all of it was to leak into the ocean.
Mr Goff spontaneously announced his party’s new stance on deep-sea drilling yesterday, saying deep-sea drilling is too dangerous.
“There shouldn’t be deep-sea drilling until we know there are safeguards in place that can be absolutely relied upon,” he says. “I’m not confident that there is.”
Mr Key has brushed off the concerns from his political opposition, saying it is just being used to create politics.
“This is a ship that has crashed on a reef. We need to address those issues and we need to make sure that we do the best job we can to limit the environmental damage. I think they should be focussing in that area to be honest.
“I just think that's pure politics. This is a ship that's crashed for reasons that are yet to be determined onto a well-documented reef,” Mr Key said.
Greenpeace’s Mr Abel responded: “John Key isn’t fooling anyone if he thinks there is no correlation between the risks of deep-sea oil drilling and what we are seeing here in the Bay of Plenty. The point is that it is about oil in the water – we are just incapable of dealing with the effects of an oil spill.”
Mr Abel said “if the Gulf of Mexico was a 10 litre bucket of oil, then in proportion, Rena would be two teaspoons of oil”.
Environment Minister Nick Smith said he found Labour's new position "hypocritical". He said Labour was the only party that didn't support a proposed law to manage the environmental effects of activities like petroleum exploration within New Zealand's Exclusive Economic Zone when it was introduced to Parliament earlier this year.
“I do find it particularly ironic that the only party in the Parliament that voted against the EEZ legislation [was Labour],” Dr Smith said.
“We've had an oil industry in Taranaki for 30 years without a significant incident in taranaki for 30 years and for us to shut down that industry as some are suggesting because a particular ship is irresponsibly managed and ends up on a reef would in my view be an ill advised reaction to the events of the last fortnight.”
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4/11/2011 10:29:17 a.m.
@Kiwi I am not with any particular party in terms of politics however i say it is extremely unfair for you to just blame Key for the people in Chch; are you saying you knew there was going to be massive ongoing earthquakes and could have prepared the country? Doubtful...also, it is not Key's job to walk into the Pike river mine to collect the bodies. Have you not been listening to the factual information about it being far too dangerous to send anyone in, even trained experts. there is nothing he, or we as a nation can do. He's handled both situations the best he can and better than anyone in this country could. I'd like to see you do better.Finally, i do not agree with deep sea oil drilling, especially after the gulf of Mexico disaster but i can understand that Key is just trying to help the country out of the recession by finding a form of income. Do you have any better ideas?Thank you.
15/10/2011 7:58:49 p.m.
Brad it is so typical of you torrie supporters to take cheap shots at the greens and labour. Could be an idea to open both your other eye and your mind and try to be objective. let me ask why wasnt key seen doing something helpful
15/10/2011 2:27:01 p.m.
Keith, Goofy was just doing what he is best at - shovel in hand, raking muck!
15/10/2011 10:18:54 a.m.
I am being totally honest I have no time for National and its list of broken promises,self serving antics(mind you the Labour MP for our area is also self serving so hence me not voting for him),lies,throwing blame onto Labour for the "leaper event" in the debating chamber and the juvenille slitting the throat action by John Key and shown on tv.Still I am sure honesty is something this National government has an allergy to or rather finds alien to their goals.Here is a list of not so great things National have done and I am sure it's only the tip of a drifting cargo container.:Credit downgrade: I didn't see it coming - English stated about 30 September 2011 in regards to Fitch's downgrade.Mr Key claimed Standard and Poor's had said at a meeting last month that "if there was a change of Government, that downgrade would be much more likely".Standard and Poor's sovereign rating analyst Kyran Curry,who attended the meeting in Auckland,said that would not have happened. 10 OCtober 2011.Talk about scaremongering by John Key.John Key has revealed that a new bottom-line will apply to his Government this winter: one of the 34 new BMW limousines being bought for Cabinet ministers will come with the optional extra of heated seating. February 2011.Wow.And I cannot afford a car.I know I am in the wrong job.John Key during the 2008 election campaign promised not to raise GST. I wonder what one calls National raising GST to 15%?!Food etc a year ago is often twice the price now.John Key tells those who depend upon Food Banks that they are making poor choices.Anyone on the bread-line in this money hungry(by government)day and age now depends upon Food Banks.Alot of Christchuch residents,one year on from 4.9.10,still need to go to a corner toilet or shower elsewhere than in THEIR OWN HOMES.Has Canterbury and Christchurch become the FORGOTTEN POEPLE?!Pike River families still want the remains of their loved ones back home for a decent burial.Is this too much to ask?!And now the awful event in the BOP.An area I will always love and I call home.If National are so determined to pursue oil drilling in the area maybe it's because they don't care less about the BOP or NZ and NZers for that fact.
15/10/2011 9:36:07 a.m.
I have read the posts of Clarke and the posts of Eddie and Clarke wins. However Clarke you don't have to insult Eddie, as it detracts from the credibility of your argument. I know it is difficult to resist calling people like Eddie an idiot; I grapple with the urge myself.
15/10/2011 8:37:10 a.m.
I always laugh when National supporters call labour Supporters lefties if you Google political compass and look at New Zealand politics you will actually find labour is slightly right of center and national is moderate right of center.
lefties yea right !
15/10/2011 8:05:07 a.m.
@ Clarke"LOL I should post some of the things you have said on the site on the topic of maori and beneficiaries Katrina.. you and eddie are so much alike"Again with the 'I should post...' please do, as said in previous blogs, I'm still waiting!!, you have nothing but bile and a dole cheque to offer society, now pass that Lap top to another person at The Standard and give them a go.PSLabour in Opposition at least another 6yrs, great eh? lol
15/10/2011 1:29:03 a.m.
You people are a bunch of asinine, name-calling children. None of this behaviour is helping anyone. All you do, in your attempts in making yourselves seem informed an 'right' in your OPINIONS, is make bigger asses of yourselves. Blind insults are a telltale sign of low intelligence. You're all so brave when you're typing on a keypad, I'd like to see all of you be the Prime Minister and have a disaster happen. It would be like a chicken running around with no head.
14/10/2011 11:40:10 p.m.
Clarke - that is the pot calling kettle black. The number of your words out number mine any day and as far as racial and discriminatory accussations they are from you fingers not mine. If you really think you have copies of everything I have written you really need to get a life.
14/10/2011 10:59:10 p.m.
LOL I should post some of the things you have said on the site on the topic of maori and beneficiaries Katrina.. you and eddie are so much alike.. perhaps you can both Finally find love.
you think you are a nice person katrina but I have seen your hate just as much as eddies.
Only losers hate so much... and no not political losers... but losers in life.
Happiness is everything and you two are the biggest moaners on the site.
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