But already the opposition begins; check out this media release from Moana Mackey, Labour list MP:
15 January 2012
National’s ‘drill it, mine it, sell it’ approach not the path to economic growth
Revelations that oil exploration company TAG Oil plans to aggressively pursue mining on New Zealand’s East Coast and turn it into the "Texas of the South" shows that National’s ‘drill it, mine it, sell it' approach to economic development is well underway, says Labour's Energy spokesperson and East Coast-based MP Moana Mackey.
“This is not where New Zealand’s economic future lies. We need to be investing instead in renewable solutions.
“New Zealanders will be shocked by the extent of TAG’s plans for an ‘aggressive East Coast basin programme’ comprising thousands of oil wells and significant land purchases.
“This is the logical result of National’s laissez-faire approach to energy policy.
“As a Gisborne-based MP, I know how concerned communities up and down the East Coast are about any expansion of oil and gas exploration in our backyard, in particular the impact on our environment and our tourism industry. And who pays if something goes wrong?
“This is not a sustainable solution for the region’s economic development, but the National Government has no other plan.”
Moana Mackey also questioned whether the controversial practice of hydraulic fracturing or ‘fracking’ was part of TAG Oil’s plans for the East Coast.
“An increasing number of governments around the world are reviewing or banning fracking because of concerns about the safety of the practice and in particular the impact on drinking water supplies.
“Labour has been calling for an inquiry into the practice of fracking in New Zealand so that these concerns can be fully investigated. Unfortunately the National Government continues to ignore public concerns about this controversial practice,” said Moana Mackey.ends
Now to the best of our knowledge, there's been no suggestion whatsoever that TAG Oil has any plans to engage in fracking; a practice that we don't know enough about to be able to comment.
But isn't this typical of Labour? Here is a suggestion that could produce prosperity for New Zealand, and for the impoverished East Coast in particular. And what's Labour's response? A sniping media release by an MP who has several times been rejected by the people of the East Coast, but who survives in Parliament thanks to MMP.
Moana Mackey should take a trip over to New Plymouth and see what energy resources did for Taranaki; and without undue effect on the landscape. Instead of welcoming and opportunity that could provide any number of jobs from the people whom she would want to represent and generate wealth in the area she and her mother before her call home, Mackey trots out an unoriginal slogan (used by the Greens in last year's election), and disses the whole idea.
Surely, Moana Mackey's media release could have said how much she welcomed the possibility of jobs being created for the people of the East Coast, provided that environmental concerns were addressed. But no; her response was wholly political; another opportunity to attack the government.
A look at the Elections website tells us that Anne Tolley won the East Coast electorate by almost 5000 votes over Moana Mackey in 2011; the third time Ms Mackey has contested the seat formerly held by her mother, and the third time that she has lost. When she can't find anything positive to say about an initiative which could transform one of New Zealand's least wealthy areas, it isn't hard to understand why.