Shane Jones wins the battle over oil drilling in Labour

January 23rd, 2014 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

Leader David Cunliffe yesterday said supported deep sea oil and gas exploration “in principle” but would pass laws to toughen environmental protection. …

His comments were in line with those of deputy David Parker last year which followed mixed messages from the party, with economic development spokesman Shane Jones extolling the benefits in terms of jobs while other MPs such as Phil Twyford attended anti-Anadarko protests. Mr Cunliffe yesterday said New Zealand’s law didn’t require world’s best practice in deep sea oil exploration, “so we will be changing the law so it does and we will expect future consents to meet those standards”.

That’s a big victory for Shane Jones. He has been almost the lone voice in favour of deep sea drilling, but now Labour is officially in favour of it also. I suspect it won’t stop some of its MPs still leading protest marches against it though, as they maintain their Yeah, Na strategy.

Of course if there is a change of Government, the Greens might make banning all mining and drilling a condition for coalition!

But for now, good to see some more rational policy from Labour.

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18 Responses to “Shane Jones wins the battle over oil drilling in Labour”

  1. Paulus (2,628 comments) says:

    Irrespective of Cunliffe’s speech when it comes to the crunch, and there is a chance to Govern, then Labour will have no option but to accede to the Greenpeace view.
    Power al ALL cost remember.

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  2. labrator (1,850 comments) says:

    It will be interesting to see if Cunliffe’s lurches to the right scavenges votes from National or from the Greens.

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  3. Keeping Stock (10,342 comments) says:

    The dilemma that Cunliffe faces is that it was Labour’s left which elected him; the unions and the membership, not caucus. To a degree, he’s damned if he moves back to the centre, damned if he moves to the left, and damned if he does nothing. What a shame :D

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  4. Reid (16,473 comments) says:

    Of course if there is a change of Government, the Greens might make banning all mining and drilling a condition for coalition!

    The insanity from Wussel on Morning Report today re: oil, comes straight from Gore and Blood’s work as enunciated and decimated here:
    http://21stcenturywire.com/2014/01/18/post-gore-and-the-coming-carbon-climbdown/

    The Gweens need to be asked by journalists why they believe oil cannot be extracted, sold or used. Then watch the insanity spew forth as they explain exactly what that article says. And one would hope the journalist would be armed with the same arguments used in that article, to shoot them down in flames and publicly expose their roaring mentalism.

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  5. anonymouse (716 comments) says:

    I am guessing this is why Phil twyford is paddling round Auckland for the next 4 days,
    Attempting to avoid any media questions in regard to his previous claims that the government should abandon oil drilling

    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151127917385775&set=a.10151127916675775.494119.11870725774&type=1&theater

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  6. Than (473 comments) says:

    It’s still too early to tell whether Shane Jones has won over drilling. Cunliffe has just made a “yeah, nah” statement – yeah we support drilling, but nah we need more safeguards. What’s the bet he won’t give any details of what additional safeguards are needed or why the present measures aren’t enough?

    But regardless, the Greens will be the ones making this decision, not Labour. And they’ll insist on as many safeguards as it takes to make drilling impractical.

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  7. PaulL (5,984 comments) says:

    @Reid: that link was one of the more impenetrable diatribes I’ve read in a while. I think it could be paraphrased as “Gore reckons that investing in oil companies is dumb because we’re not going to let them use the oil. But anyone with half a brain can see there’s no choice, so clearly Gore’s wrong.” Which is OK as an argument, but how they spin it out to 5 pages of meaningless drivel I really don’t understand.

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  8. Paulus (2,628 comments) says:

    Felt like a laugh so went to the Standard.

    They are now pushing for a new SOE to handle all the oil for which Labour have conceded exploration, for now until they have to get into power by agreeing with Greenpeace.

    KIWIOIL – hey guys what next

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  9. Alan (1,087 comments) says:

    “Irrespective of Cunliffe’s speech when it comes to the crunch, and there is a chance to Govern, then Labour will have no option but to accede to the Greenpeace view.”

    I think you’ll find the effective nature of that conversation in a situation of 45 labour mps and 7 greens would work exactly the other way around. As David G has written many times on here, the smaller party has very little influence on major policy items, esp if they have nowhere else to go.

    In ’99 Winston could get concessions because he had options. The Greens (like ACT) aren’t in that position. Let’s imagine the conversation.

    Russell – We demand a total ban on deep sea drilling as a condition to support a labour administration.

    David – and if we don’t, what are you going to do, put Key into office ?

    Russell – ummm…….

    They’ll throw the greens some crumbs to let them keep their base happy, nothing more.

    The arithmetic is inexorable.

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  10. s.russell (1,642 comments) says:

    Of course Labour is in favour of oil drilling, in principle. It is just that they are opposed to it in every specific case. Result: exactly the same.

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  11. Grizz (605 comments) says:

    Someone has woken up and realised what they could do with the money. This is part of their plan to tap votes off National. The Problem is that they end up handing votes to the Greens.

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  12. OneTrack (3,109 comments) says:

    Alan – “The arithmetic is inexorable.”

    Except, if the Greens don’t get some of their not-negotiables in place and/or some choice Ministerial positions this time, then they are a waste of time as a political party and may as well go home. Their voters will realise what is the point and walk away.

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  13. OneTrack (3,109 comments) says:

    Grizz – Or, someone has woken up, counted the rich pricks to rape, and realised there aren’t enough in New Zealand to pay for their mad schemes.

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  14. Than (473 comments) says:

    Alan, you are assuming the Greens put rationality ahead of idealism. Not a safe assumption. I find it very plausible they could force a new election rather than support a government that crossed some arbitrary bottom line policy.

    But I don’t think Cunliffe would feel any need to play hardball on this issue. Public opinion on drilling is mixed, plenty of his own MPs are against it, and he’s already covered his ass with the “yeah, nah” comment about safeguards. Conceding a prohibitively onerous regulatory regime to the Greens would be no skin off his nose.

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  15. Alan (1,087 comments) says:

    @OT. “then they are a waste of time as a political party and may as well go home. Their voters will realise what is the point and walk away.”

    You’re correct, and that is what happens to smaller parties supporting larger ones. I don’t know if you intended to describe the death of the Act party but you just did perfectly. They lost 75% of their vote between 08 & 11, with it all going to National. I expect the same would happen with Labour / Greens.

    Going into power will probably be fatal to the Green party, at the very least they’d certainly face a Mana / Maori style split between those interested in being in power and those who can’t make the mental leap from activist.

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  16. Crusader (314 comments) says:

    KIWIOIL – hey guys what next

    Kiwi Bank, Kiwi Rail, etc, it just gets cringeworthy.

    What next? Labour set up a government run internet site and call it KIWI BLOG.?? Bugger, that’s already been taken.!! ;)

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  17. Pete George (23,577 comments) says:

    I am guessing this is why Phil twyford is paddling round Auckland for the next 4 days,

    Very funny.

    Or maybe Cunliffe took his opportunity to announce the yeah, sort of, part of the policy position while Twyford was out of circulation.

    What out for what Cunliffe announces when Shane Jones is off in his waka paddling somewhere.

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  18. Liberty (267 comments) says:

    Labour supporting drilling is only a charade.
    Because if sanity turns to custard at the end of the year.
    Red Norm will be minister of finance and Glint could be Minister of conservation.

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