Labour’s drilling split

November 27th, 2013 at 5:35 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

The standoff over deep sea drilling off the Raglan coast is threatening a split in .

Labour MP has backed oil drilling giant Anadarko in a move which puts him at odds with other members of the caucus, including environment spokeswoman who today called for a slow down in the mineral exploration programme. …

Speaking on Maori TV’s Te Kaea tonight, Jones was outspoken about attempts to stop Anadarko from deep sea drilling and said the protesters should remember that the company had a statutory right to be there.

“Protesters need to bear in mind we are buying oil out of the Gulf of Mexico and other far-flung places when we should be focusing on making an industry in our own country.”

Anadarko was spending a million dollars a day on its programme and that was good for New Zealand, Jones said.

Jones is Labour’s spokesperson on economic development and is ranked No 5, on their front bench. I hope he speaks for Labour, but does he?

But Mackey appeared to back the protesters and blamed the Government for Greenpeace’s announcement that it intends to challenge the Environmental Protection Authority’s (EPA) decision to allow Anadarko to carry out deep sea drilling off the Raglan coast .

She said the regulatory environment under which Anadarko was permitted to drill was “deliberately permissive” and the process had been a shambles.

She also accused the Government of being desperate to expedite deep sea oil and gas exploration because it had no plan B for jobs – which also puts her at odds with Jones, who believes mining is a potential boon for jobs.

Mackey is ranked No 18 and is the Environment Spokesperson. Will the views of No 18 trump the views of No 5?

David Shearer is the Energy Spokesperson. What are his views? Maybe Labour can have three different policies on this issue, rather than just two!

Labour leader David Cunliffe was unavailable for comment.

I bet he was.

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32 Responses to “Labour’s drilling split”

  1. Pete George (22,784 comments) says:

    Cunliffe said enough last week on this to raise concerns. He seems to have taken advice from Mackey for his exaggerated claims in his press release Oil drilling at Kaikoura depths has 70% probability of a ‘reportable incident’ within a year:

    Now I guess the other key point you raised is we had to prise this information out of the Minister through multiple OIA requests, I’ll give some credit to Moana Mackey who’s the spokesperson in her team, we had to go to the Ombudsman to get it, we had to chisel it out of them, and it’s finally in the public domain.

    After that Duncan Garner pushed Cunliffe to say whether he would allow drilling as Prime Minister:

    Garner: So you would stop it until you saw that?

    Cunliffe: We are not opposed in principle, we are absolutely up for a mature discussion with the industry…

    Garner: Are you opposed on current standards? And I think this is very important…

    Cunliffe: No no, we are opposed to the current standards. The EEZ legislation under which this is happening is currently too weak. We have jettisoned a lot of the jurisprudence under the RMA and it needs to be tightened up.

    Garner: Ok, so you’d stop it for now and wait til you could get better standards, local standards that you were satisfied with.

    Cunliffe: We’d get the standards in place and then we’d take them on a case by case basis.

    Remember that Labour would almost certainly be reliant on the Greens, and we know that Green standards are pretty much “if it can be guaranteed to be 100% safe and not use fossil fuels and not result in any emissions”.

    It’s easy to predict what the results of “on a case by case basis” would be with Greens involved. And Mackey is a virtual Green on drilling.

    So regardless of what Jones proposes and regardless of which side of his mouth Cunliffe eventually talks out of a Labour+Green government is unlikely to approve of any drilling, let alone deep sea drilling.

    The only question is what they would do about exploration that is already under way and has already been approved.

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  2. Manolo (13,341 comments) says:

    David Shearer is the Energy Spokesperson. What are his views?

    Captain Mumblefuck is well known for speaking in riddles and incomprehensible dialects.

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  3. Keeping Stock (10,097 comments) says:

    With the Christchurch East by-election just days away, and with it being widely seen as the first test of David Cunliffe’s leadership, you’d have to suspect that this is a very deliberate move from Shane Jones. He has lobbed a political hand grenade at his leader; what happens next is going to be very interesting!

    There are some major cracks in Labour’s facade over this issue, and they are not ones that Cunliffe can simply paper over. This is his first crisis.

    http://keepingstock.blogspot.co.nz/2013/11/the-cracks-are-appearing.html

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  4. freedom101 (462 comments) says:

    David Cunliffe unavailable for comment? Has his tongue been cut out or has he been kidnapped? Enjoy it while it lasts.

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  5. Pete George (22,784 comments) says:

    Shearer hasn’t made any media comments as spokesperson on Energy and Resources: http://www.labour.org.nz/people/david-shearer

    He has posted on his Facebook page:

    26 October

    As Labour’s energy spokesman I’ve had some great meetings with experts in renewables – the way of the future for a clean and clever country like ours.

    International research shows that an investment in clean energy creates two to four times as many jobs as the same investment in fossil fuel industries #logicalchoice

    At what cost?

    He also answered a comment:

    Robyn Harris-Iles Make it Labour policy, David!

    David Shearer yes, that’s the aim

    Not specifically anti-drilling there but a definite leaning towards renewables.

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  6. Camryn (550 comments) says:

    Amazing how Shane Jones say things that sound so perfectly Labour, but a past Labour that seems to no longer exist. The same comments sound very out of place within the current party. I’d suggest he should take his x% of supporters and create a new party, but that would only make sense if he could take the name and leave the remainder with a new name like “Redistributors” or something.

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  7. Pete George (22,784 comments) says:

    Moana Mackey in September – Block offer 2014 premature without protections:

    “Labour has repeatedly stated drilling should only take place if we have the capability to manage a disaster and once robust safeguards are in place.

    Labour’s Wellington MPs are also concerned about the considerable expansion of the Pegasus-East Coast Basin with an area of 75,136 square kilometres now up for consultation.

    “A Labour government will ensure there are strong environmental protections and listen to affected communities concerned about environmental risks,” Moana Mackey says.

    Cunliffe seems to agree with that position.

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  8. Camryn (550 comments) says:

    PG – I had to laugh at that Shearer post. While it seems great that renewables create 2-4x the jobs, only Labour could fixate on that without pausing to wonder if that, maybe, there would be some impact on the cost of the resulting energy. And that if we moved strongly into energy that was 2-4x more expensive that there’d be some huge negative impact on the economy. And that if the economy tanked then those renewables workers might lose those new jobs so, maybe, we’d be back at square one but poorer for the experience. *Don’t let these guys back into power… they’re incapable of seeing beyond the quick fix*

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  9. Pete George (22,784 comments) says:

    Shane Jones (and Andrew Little) in July – Labour duo keen to talk jobs and growth:

    Controversial Labour Party bigwig Shane Jones has moved to position the party well clear of the Greens and their “anti-development” message.

    In Taranaki for a two-day visit with party justice spokesman list MP Andrew Little, the regional development spokesman spent much of the first day pow-wowing with oil and gas industry players.

    “I am keen to defang these misapprehensions that are abounding that somehow industry has disappeared from our purview.

    “Nothing could be further from the truth and if my visit provides the opportunity to reinforce the centrality of jobs, the importance of industry and the need for a future Labour-led government to assuage whatever anxieties might be there in the minds of employers or future investors then I am up for the task,” he said.

    Offshore oil and gas drilling was an essential feature of domestic and export growth, Mr Jones said, and businesses and enterprises enabling it would get full government support.

    There was an appetite for such growth in Taranaki but the “anti-development” message was strong on the East Coast, where oil and gas exploration is on the increase, and in the Far North, where he was attending an anti-mining hui next month.

    Mackey is a part of the “anti-development” message on the East Coast. Cunliffe seems to have aligned with Mackey and there has been no sign of him supporting Jones’ aims.

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  10. All_on_Red (1,346 comments) says:

    “renewables create 2-4x the jobs”

    I call bullshit on that one. Oh I am sure if you read any report from Greenpeace or WWF that’s what they say but the facts are pretty clear to the people of places like Spain and Germany that the increased energy costs due to the massive subsidies for renewables destroy jobs.
    When are these fuckwits going to get it through their heads that jobs and opportunity is what cures poverty and for jobs to be created you need low cost energy.
    Of course honorary Green Party members like Macky and Greenpeace stooges like Kennedy and Hughes keep banging on about this but get away with because of the ( deliberate) lack of critical thought by their enablers in the media.

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  11. duggledog (1,343 comments) says:

    This is what you get when you have a bunch of very disparate groups all together under the one banner.

    Some Maori, the homosexual faction, the academics, former teachers, and unionists – all thinking differently, all strongly tribal within the ranks and all thinking they are slightly more superior to one another.

    It’s part of the reason why Labour can’t govern in 2014. Chuck in the Greens and whoever else and Cunliffe will spend all his time negotiating within his party and with other parties, and not running the country – as I think Clark did in her final term. Seemed like it.

    Why people can’t see this I don’t understand.
    The fact Labour still commands a good third of the vote – even now – speaks volumes about the ordinary kiwi voter. It’s the reason I didn’t buy shares.

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  12. igm (1,413 comments) says:

    “Tojo” has dug himself too many holes to be taken seriously. Now he has total instability trying to appease all the decadent factions within the party of perverts. Hope Norman does hits him with a flag.

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  13. bhudson (4,734 comments) says:

    @igm,

    True. With Cunliffe digging so many holes for himself, it’s hard to see how he can against drilling and mining.

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  14. Mobile Michael (411 comments) says:

    Labour want to say “Yes, but…” and throw in so many barriers that it really is a “No”.

    Policy formation of that type is going to disappoint some voters who will either see it as being an attempt to be all things to all people, or have pro minded people think there are too many conditions, and anti think there are too few. The rest will just tune out as they don’t understand thd Wellington Beltway game being played.

    Shane Jones understands this and makes clear, unequivocal statements on policy, so people will take the whole policy package and consider it. Which Key has done well for the past five years, and needs to keep doing if National want to win next year’s election.

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  15. projectman (203 comments) says:

    “David Cunliffe unavailable for comment? Has his tongue been cut out…”

    More likely he is busy wagging his tongue at Shane Jones.

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  16. Colville (2,074 comments) says:

    David Shearer is the Energy Spokesperson. What are his views?

    Captain Mumblefuck is well known for speaking in riddles and incomprehensible dialects.

    I think Captian Mumblefuck was demoted to second lieutenant, 15th September 2013, for failure to inflict damage upon the enemy.

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  17. Nigel Kearney (864 comments) says:

    If Helen was still in charge Labour would have done focus groups by now to figure out what their position is.

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  18. James Stephenson (2,018 comments) says:

    I’d suggest he should take his x% of supporters and create a new party,

    He should join NZ First and get Winston to retire.

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  19. peterwn (3,150 comments) says:

    Interaction between energy, development, jobs and environment is a key thing that David Cunliffe needed to have given some thought to as soon as he became leader, even if to tell spokespeople not to go out on jollies of their own until caucus had firmed up a stance on particular issues. But hey! the underlying policy is equality with its implementation by the Rohin Hood method of government – there is already enough in the economy to share around without the need to create new wealth.

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  20. kiwi in america (2,434 comments) says:

    Labour’s policy schizophrenia on this issue is a feature not a bug. It’s how Cunliffe is trying to thread two incompatible needles at the same time: the first being his harder left party activists and union backers to whom he promised to be full red Labour and not light blue; the second to middle NZ who would warm to the economic pragmatism of Shane Jones’ sensible position and who are repelled by union bully tactics, political correctness and Labour’s activist base who favour harder left policies to outflank the Greens.

    You cannot placate the one without offending the other. Cunliffe is hoping he can placate enough centrist voters without alienating the left. Good luck with that. Its why Labour have gone from being the aahhh…mmmm…err..Party under Shearer to the Yea Nah Party under Cunliffe.

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  21. Dennis Horne (2,059 comments) says:

    Captain Shearer is nowhere nearer
    Making anything clearer
    But cunning old Jones
    Makes no bones
    He doesn’t want energy dearer.

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  22. Bob (479 comments) says:

    I like Shane Jones. He generally talks sense without following party lines. He is realistic about issues especially economic ones. I feel he sits halfway between Labour and National. I’m not sure he is in the right party.

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  23. Pete George (22,784 comments) says:

    David Cunliffe is away in Australia – he was due to speak at the Australian New Zealand Leadership forum yesterday.

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  24. duggledog (1,343 comments) says:

    Bob

    Halfway between Labour and National is still socialist!

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  25. peterwn (3,150 comments) says:

    Pete George – well, there is one case study David Cunliffe will not be mentioning.

    Kiwi – I think there are three threads, unless there is complete correlation between ‘green’ and ‘union’ threads. Union leaders would want to see some economic development.

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  26. davidp (3,540 comments) says:

    Pete G>David Cunliffe is away in Australia – he was due to speak at the Australian New Zealand Leadership forum yesterday.

    So he flew there in an aircraft powered by avgas? I’ll put him down as being in favour of oil and gas exploration for now, but may have to revise this position if it turns out he sailed there.

    But… Good on Shane Jones for taking a sensible job-promoting position on this. He has gone up in my estimation.

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  27. Ross12 (1,147 comments) says:

    This is what happens when reality strikes — money from voters pockets against subsidies for “renewable” energy

    http://uk.reuters.com/article/2013/11/26/uk-rwe-atlanticarray-idUKBRE9AP09N20131126

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  28. MH (624 comments) says:

    Shane Jones the cheeky Anadarky. Once they re attach that “sheared” off propeller just outside Te Waipounamu, maybe the good Ship Labour will have some direction.

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  29. srylands (386 comments) says:

    “The fact Labour still commands a good third of the vote – even now – speaks volumes about the ordinary kiwi voter.”

    Some voters are beyond hope, but there are some that I think could be swayed to reason through good direct communications by the Government. e.g the Government could go all out for a couple of months with a campaign to debunk the “Green economy = lots of new jobs.” Then pick another theme. It is woth a shot. Even if the penny drops for 3% of voters, that is a big deal. As I have said before, the rubbish that comes out of the Greens – especially on economic policy – gets a free ride in New Zealand that would be impossible in Australia. IMO, the Government could do better.

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  30. srylands (386 comments) says:

    This is an example of the frightful stuff that I think could be attacked, and hard:

    “We will retain ownership of our state-owned enterprises while creating the right incentives for them to partner with clean tech entrepreneurs in the private sector and develop renewable energy solutions that we can patent and export abroad. With the right incentives in place, if we can capture just 1% of the global market for renewable energy solutions, we’ll create a $6 to $8 billion export industry employing 47,000–65,000 people in new green jobs.”

    https://www.greens.org.nz/sites/default/files/green_jobs_initiative_one-pager.pdf

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  31. Sir Cullen's Sidekick (785 comments) says:

    OK, thanks for all the jokes published here. This is what will happen. Cunliffe will give Pornsy Jonesy a clip over his ears. Then Pornsy Jonesy will issue a press statement saying his words haven been twisted by the media and he stands by his leader and is opposed to any form of drilling.

    Talks of split in Labour is a joke. Labour knows they are dead certain to be the next government. So why will they mess it up?

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  32. Dennis Horne (2,059 comments) says:

    @david p. Just for the record, avgas is aviation gasoline, for piston engines (ie spark-ignition engines). The fuel for turbines is kerosene, JetA1. Some aircraft have diesel engines (ie compression ignition engines) that use JetA1 because it is readily available at aerodromes but it usually requires an additive as it doesn’t have the lubricity of diesel. In recreational aviation, some engines like the Rotax use petrol which is commonly referred to as mogas.

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