Let’s have a look at how flawed the decision on oil and gas exploration was. First of all, is this something that was party policy?
- Labour – did not say they would do it
- NZ – actively promoted themselves as champion of oil and gas
- Greens – were in favour of a ban
So this was not Labour Party policy before the election. Labour did not campaign on doing this. They kept it a secret as they knew they’d lose vote if they had told people before hand.
How about the coalition negotiations? Was this something they had to agree to in order to form a Government?
No. This was not in the coalition agreement.
So how did this major policy change come about? Due to a Greenpeace petition! Yes, that’s right.
The Government just made a decision with zero consultation with the public or industry.
A major policy change (especially one to close down an entire industry) would normally be consulted on. The Government might produce a discussion document, then a consultation document and or draft policy. You get feedback. You allow people to make submission. You weigh up the pros and cons.
They did none of this.
They did not tell people before the election they would do this.
They did not consult on this.
So this is why people should be angry. Not just because it is a bad policy. But it is a bad faith policy. Thousands of people will lose their jobs, and they didn’t even get a chance to have their say. They may have even voted for Labour, never thinking that the moment they were in power they would implement a policy banning their industry – that was not in their manifesto, and was not in their coalition agreement.