Newly elected Northland MP Winston Peters says NZ First is open to the idea of oil exploration, if there are real benefits for the country, the region and the extraction process is environmentally sustainable.
In an interview with Native Affairs last night Peters said he would only support the process if those three significant outcomes were covered, otherwise his party would not support mining.
When asked how he felt about an offshore exploration block offer around the Reinga Basin, Peters responded by saying exploring the resources available was not necessarily a bad thing as long as the extraction process was sound.
Yesterday the Minister of Energy and Resources, Simon Bridges announced the annual tender for oil and gas exploration permits which opens up 429,298 square kilometres for oil exploration.
As the announcement was made Greenpeace protestors stood outside the Petroleum Forum holding mural-sized photographs depicting the human and animal suffering of climate-related crises.
Greenpeace climate and energy spokesperson Steve Abel said the aim of the protest was to show the 400 or so delegates at the summit that they and their industry must assume some responsibility for the terrible impacts of climate change.
The Greens are against exploration and believe the risks outweigh the returns, however Peters says, if there is an environmentally sound plan put in place and if there is a real return to the north his party is open to the idea. However he says “right now we are asked to support mining and exploration without any regard to what we get out of it and that’s not what we support.”