A Green Party policy to protect Maui’s dolphins could cost Taranaki thousands of jobs and billions of dollars, Conservation Minister Nick Smith says.
Yesterday the Green Party announced a new policy to ban set-net fishing, trawling and gas and oil exploration within reserve areas that are home to the 55 Maui’s dolphins.
The move could have a significant impact on both Taranaki’s fishing and oil and gas industries, Smith said.
“There has not been a single incident involving Maui’s dolphin and Taranaki’s $3 billion oil and gas industry in over 40 years,” Smith said.
It is fishing that kill dolphins, not drilling. The Greens hate oil and gas because it upsets Gaia, so they are using the dolphins as a pretext to eventually wipe out Taranaki’s oil industry.
“The prohibition on any new oil and gas exploration in this large area will come at a huge economic cost long term not just to Taranaki, but more widely to New Zealand.
“This extreme Green policy will cost Taranaki thousands of jobs and billions of dollars.”
If you ban any new exploration, that means you will eventually kill the industry off. The Greens think this means everyone will abandon their cars, but instead it will just mean that we become more dependent on imports.
However, New Plymouth’s Labour candidate Andrew Little said the party did not support a ban of offshore drilling. “The biggest risk is set-nets,” he said.
“There’s no evidence that offshore drilling has an impact on Maui’s dolphins, so we can’t support that.
Good to have some sense from Labour, but we have to remember that on current polling the Greens would probably expect to get around a third of their policies implemented if they are in Government, as they are polling at around half Labour’s level.