36 off shore wells under Labour

March 2nd, 2014 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

Amy Adams pointed out:

David Cunliffe latest attempt to rewrite history on oil and gas exploration highlights an on-going, casual relationship with the truth, Environment Minister Amy Adams says.

“As a minister in the previous Government, David Cunliffe knows there was no environment oversight and certainly no public involvement in the exploratory drilling process under his watch,” Ms Adams says.

“Once again he has been caught out being tricky with the truth. He is trying to create a distraction from Labour’s woeful environmental credentials.

“Under his government, 36 wells were drilled in the EEZ between 1999 and 2008 with no legislation in place to protect the environment.

“In fact, the Labour regime only required the Minister for Energy and Resources to sign a permit and required no formal environmental assessment at all. That’s it – no public comment, no submissions, no consideration of environmental effects.

Not enough people know this. Labour signed off on 36 oil wells, with no requirement at all for a formal environmental assessment. The law passed by National requires the EPA to do an independent assessment.

“The ridiculous thing about David Cunliffe’s argument is that the EEZ Act introduced by this Government actually replaces a non-existent environmental regulatory regime for drilling in the EEZ, where the public had no say.

“Under this Government, the public will for the first time get a chance to have a say. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) can call for submissions from the public prior to granting a consent for exploratory drilling, if the EPA feels it is required. And before any production drilling can take place, a full public process must be held.

As always Labour is do what we say, not do what we did.

23 Responses to “36 off shore wells under Labour”

  1. deadrightkev (2,327 comments) says:

    So why doesn’t National have the gonads to just go ahead and do the same then? Instead of trying to get polling and media approval.

    In my opinion there is paint thickness between Labour and National. Its just awful.

    NZ has never needed a strong right more than it does now.

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  2. Pete George (24,828 comments) says:

    This is what Cunliffe had claimed:

    The Government has today revealed its true contempt for democratic rights by ploughing on with plans to override Parliamentary majority and gag local communities, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says.

    Kiwis also lose their rights to have a say on exploratory drilling off their local beaches under new rules coming into effect today.

    “This is an outrage and the latest from a Government which continues to chip away at democracy.”

    “The muzzling of local communities concerned about oil exploration shows the Government has once against backed the interests of multinational corporations over the rights of ordinary New Zealanders.

    “New Zealanders have a right to a say in what happens in their oceans.

    Gareth Hughes has said similar things, see Cunliffe and Hughes wrong on public ‘muzzling’.

    Same for Greenpeace:

    Greenpeace energy campaigner Steve Abel said the exploratory phase of drilling was the most dangerous, and the Government had stripped away New Zealanders’ chance to formally oppose it.

    Also Dunedin mayor Dave Cull:

    Mr Cull said the move was inconsistent with the Resource Management Act (RMA), which dealt with land-based activities.

    ”This [Economic Exclusion Zone Act regulation] is saying we don’t care who might be affected. We’ll set up a body to decide if an activity has effects, and that’s taking it away from the public.”

    Mr Cull said he was not taking sides over exploratory drilling, but he felt the new regulations were preemptive.

    ”I find it hard to believe you can carte blanche say it doesn’t matter where or how you drill, activities will be non-notified. I think it’s unfortunate to prejudge whether activities might have effects,” he said.


    Adams seems to have put the record straight, and the critics in their place, the bullshit brigade.

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  3. Pete George (24,828 comments) says:

    deadrightkev contradicts himself:

    In my opinion there is paint thickness between Labour and National. Its just awful.

    That doesn’t stack up here. DPF’s post makes it clear that National have made significant changes to how consents were issued under Labour. Which you admit when you say:

    So why doesn’t National have the gonads to just go ahead and do the same then?

    National had the sense to put in a robust and proper consent system. It would have been untenable to continue with the previous severely flawed process.

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  4. wreck1080 (5,017 comments) says:

    why did the greens never complain?

    Do the greens think it is ok for labour to drill for oil but not for national?

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  5. wiseowl (2,282 comments) says:

    Yes National politicians just change legislation in kneejerk reaction to the lefty media and moori protesters.

    That’s the way you do it.
    No need to be rational , factual or to stand on principle anymore.

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  6. igm (2,470 comments) says:

    This “Tojo” Cunliffe arsehole gets lead time on NewstalkZB berating the Government over public service fucked up figures on child poverty. Let’s face it, the losers that stuffed up data are members of the PSA which supports Labour, and are doing everything in their power to stuff up anything to help this pathetic bunch of left-wing perverts. Also, there is no poverty, just wasted benefits by those that Labour have created and support.

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  7. Colville (3,122 comments) says:

    The Greens didnt complain when Hulun sat in the bug chair because she was a Leader and kept them under control, whereas Cun*liffe and Co are so piss weak that Wussel and Co have been allowed to think they are “players” and should be sitting at the table with the big boys.

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  8. Pete George (24,828 comments) says:


    Yes National politicians just change legislation in kneejerk reaction to the lefty media and moori protesters.

    No, they changed it because proper oversight was essential and will enable a more robust consenting system.

    No need to be rational , factual or to stand on principle anymore.

    The opposite is true, there is now a system that ensures rational factual assessment of risks by an expert authority before issuing consents – this is based on very sound and sensible principles.

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  9. mandk (2,002 comments) says:


    I don’t agree. There is poverty, but its worse form is poverty of expectations and ambitions.

    The problem is that you could double the incomes of many families in poverty without any impact on their social outcomes.

    How do you solve that?

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  10. Paulus (3,567 comments) says:

    Pity the media do not report Adams’ comment.
    Does not suit their anti Government vitriol.

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  11. burt (11,468 comments) says:


    why did the greens never complain?

    That’s a very valid point. The only thing that seems to explain it is the old chestnut; It’s different when Labour do it !

    Look at Norman now… all anti surveillance ra ra … this is the same guy who had no problem with making people publish their full name and residential address on any anti government protest banners or even leaflets. Yeah… It’s OK for the government to know exactly who is saying what and where they live when his team are in office.

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  12. burt (11,468 comments) says:


    The Green’s are only anti government when it’s not their sort of government. Once they are in office – watch them expand the size and reach of government like never before.

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  13. Nookin (4,574 comments) says:

    Whether deep seal drilling occurs is either a conceptual or a technical issue. The greens oppose it conceptually. There will be no deep sea drilling under its watch.

    The public have input into the conceptual debate. It happens at the time of the general election.

    Once the concept is approved, public involvement should end except in exceptional cases.

    The analogy is not with the RMA. Cunliffe knows that. The correct analogy is with the Building Act. If a high rise building is approved conceptually, the public get no say into the design, materials or project management of the building. As a general rule, the public have nothing to offer to specialised technical matters.

    The last thing this country needs is a public hearing on a specific drill site off the coast of NZ where Lawless, Hughes, Norman et al turn up to tell the world that they know more than anyone else. Most critics are incapable of distinguishing between concept and design.

    What this country does need, however, is the assurance that there is a robust vetting process and a clear definition of accountability. The greens have to realise, however that accountability comes at a cost. If a joint enterprise (ie a project that will benefit more than one party) involves some risk and that risk is born by one party only then its share of the profits will be determined accordingly. There may be circumstances. I do not rule that possibility out but they will be exceptional.

    If NZ, as a country, carries any risk then it must be in a position to mitigate it ( having regard to the severity of the risk and the severity of the impact).

    If the governments approach is lacking in any way, then it is in demonstrating to the electorate the rigour of any assessment, the extent to which NZ carries any risk and its ability to react. These may be PR failings or there may be real flaws in the process. Either way, the government would do well to address them.

    Having done so – get drilling!

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  14. tvb (5,514 comments) says:

    This is such a cheap shot by Labour as to be laughable and highlights Labour’s political weakness. I suppose now they will say they would have introduced public consultation for test drilling. Did they raise this issue when National introduced the legislation?? They could have passed such legislation when they were in Government should they have wished. But they did not. Cunliffe seems to completely lack a coherent political strategy but instead reacts to events on a one off basis as they erupt hoping to score cheap political points along the way. You cannot win elections that way.

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  15. burt (11,468 comments) says:


    It’s pretty easy to see what’s going wrong in Labour. The party is run by an out of touch bunch of has beens. They have failed to fully comprehend that the good old days of waiting a few years then blaming your opposition for your own fuck ups are well gone. In Mallards day he would have got away with blaming national for closing schools down… from about 10 years ago …. now we just roll out the links to the articles where their lies are laid bare.

    The public having short memories isn’t working as well for Labour as it use to – pity their entire future is dependent on people forgetting how unsustainable their policies have been every time they have been tried.

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  16. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    How pathetic, if we go back we can pin lots of things on both political parties. When we do it to National we get told its a different leader, new era, so it no longer applies – at least apply the same standards across the board.

    I think this sort of stuff smacks of desperation… getting a little worried are we? 😉

    I’m not interested in the past blunders by the parties, I’m interest in NOW and the future.

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  17. deadrightkev (2,327 comments) says:

    Pete George

    Yes but DPF is head cheerleader for National so no surprises there.

    “National had the sense to put in a robust and proper consent system. It would have been untenable to continue with the previous severely flawed process.”

    You mean the magical RMA and iwi consent process with fake treaty principles riddled throughout our legislation? Yeah that has helped. Where are National MPs on this? Hiding behind the whip.

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  18. wiseowl (2,282 comments) says:

    Yes you are correct.
    Having been involved in the ‘process’ that pg referred to I reject the idea it was severely flawed.

    I have said before I was a little involved in application for drilling years ago in an area of high Maori population and there was no interest,no complaints, no issues.

    Whats changed is the Greens and iwi that have jumped on the bandwagon of stop everything at all costs.

    The ‘process’ was fine before.

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  19. burt (11,468 comments) says:


    If you were genuinely interested in the now and the future then you too would call BS ( loudly ) when politicians rewrite the past.

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  20. Pete George (24,828 comments) says:

    No kev, I mean the new EEZ Act regulations that tidy up the consents process for exploratory off-shore drilling, that’s what this topic is about, it has nothing to do with the RMA.

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  21. Pete George (24,828 comments) says:

    The ‘process’ was fine before.

    I don’t think it was, and neither does the vast majority of Parliament (it would possibly have 100% agreement it was inadequate).

    “The non-notified discretionary classification is the pragmatic option for exploratory drilling, and will provide a level of regulation proportionate to its effects,” Ms Adams says.

    “This is part of the National-led Government’s overhaul of the laws and regulations governing the oil and gas industry.

    “The classification will provide effective oversight and environmental safeguards without burdening industry with excessive costs and timeframes.”

    Exploratory drilling is the drilling of an offshore well to identify oil or gas deposits under the seafloor, and to evaluate whether they would be suitable for production.

    As part of the marine consent application, operators will need to submit an impact assessment that identifies impacts on the environment and existing interests. The impact assessment must describe any consultation undertaken with people identified as existing interests.

    The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) will fully assess the effects of the activity on the environment and existing interests. If a marine consent is granted, the EPA can impose such conditions as it thinks necessary to properly manage any adverse effects of the activity.

    The sounds like a good balance of assessment and management without allowing it to become another tool to oppose any drilling.

    By putting this in place it tidies up what was a regulatory grey area – and it will also make it harder for Labour to back the Greens to put in a much more restrictive and time consuming process that could effectively achieve what Greens want – a halt to all drilling.

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  22. OneTrack (4,602 comments) says:


    I’m not interested in the past successes by the parties, I’m interested in NOW and the future. fify.

    Yes, and the current Labour opposition (who really dont even deserve that title) comprised of failed academics, hard-left unionists, and identity politicians, backed up by the current hard-left communists in the Green Party, with supporting roles by the racist, separatist Mana and a befuddled NZ First, look to be heading New Zealand toward (if they get in) a train wreck of epic proportions. We wont need to visit Greece, it will come to us. But there won’t be an EU bail-out, just a traffic jam heading toward the airport.

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  23. Nookin (4,574 comments) says:

    I agree with those who are fed up with the response by some commenters to any criticism of their favoured party by pointing out that the “other party” did worse.

    This tit-for-tat method of debating is of dubious value to say the least. It is a pissing contest with as much merit as the child’s argument that “my daddy is bigger than your daddy.”

    To that end, there is some merit in Judith’s comment that we should be looking to the future and not looking at past failures or deficiencies. I say that however with 2 reservations. Firstly, I think that it is open to look at the previous position of the other party in order to assess the credibility of its current position/ criticism. An example of this is the Labour Party’s revitalised power policy announced last year shortly prior to the share float. It was clearly relevant to the merits of the new policy that labour had previously considered a single supplier and price control but had rejected it as unworkable. There was a complete about face supposedly based on the works of an international expert who subsequently expressed the view that he would prefer to have been consulted before anyone quoted him and that he was rather more enamoured of the approach by the current government.

    Secondly, and this has particular relevance in this case, one has to look at the “old position” in order to assess the bona fides of the newly expressed position/criticism. In this case, Cunliffe accuses the government of riding rampant over existing rights and responsibilities. The fact is, he is telling porkies. Those rights and responsibilities do not exist and have not existed for some considerable time as Mr Cunliffe would well know because he was the Minister at the time.

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