A desperate opportunism

Patrick Gower at 3 News reports:

The Rena’s oil is polluting plans for New Zealand’s deep sea oil drilling.

The Government wants it to go ahead, but Labour has now decided that what has happened here proves the risk is too big.

So Phil Goff has promised Labour will put a moratorium on any deep sea drilling.

An oil spill was always going to have political fallout. That means photo opportunities and politicians fighting each other on the beaches.

“I don’t think Phil Goff wandering around with a bucket and spade is actually going to fix the problem,” says Prime Minister John Key.

Mr Goff is already digging into other issues; like the Government’s desire for deep sea drilling.

Today he revealed that if Labour gets into power, there will be a moratorium on deep sea drilling until it can be deemed safe.

Now this sudden snap policy is because a cargo ship steered full speed into a reef. Is Labour going to also announce a ban on all cargo ships?
The moratorium is a cheap gimmick anyway as any actual new deep sea digging would be years and years away anyway, so there is nothing to stop. Labour were more sensible back in 2010 when they said:

“Then there was the review of health, safety and environmental legislation for offshore petroleum operations. Now a report on health and safety found that there was room for improving the existing framework and that events in the Gulf of Mexico would further inform safety standards.“New Zealand should look to overseas best practice standards, and it should also be mindful of the unique factors of our own environment when it comes to deep-sea drilling.

“Most New Zealanders want a greater assurance that the Health and Safety Standards for deep-sea drilling and a comprehensive test in favour of the environment is central to reforming the legislative framework for offshore petroleum operations. While I welcome the call for submissions on this question, the Minister needs to balance industry concerns with the wider public.

“The country needs an ambitious plan for increasing investment in renewable energy schemes, clean technology, and an improved health and safety standards regime for all mining operations.

It is all about safety standards, not about making policy up on the spot in a desperate attempt to win votes.

Goff’s reaction to 9/11 would probably have been to ban planes, as without planes thne they could not have been hijacked and flown into buildings where their fuel exploded.

UPDATE: Maybe Goff meant that the existing off shore drilling in Taranaki should be immediately suspended? I wonder how that would go down in New Plymouth and what are the views of Labour’s New Plymouth candidate on this policy? I can;t imagine it will help him win the seat, but maybe that is the deliberate strategy from Goff?

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