Hon Hekia Parata
Spokeswoman for Energy and Resources
14 November 2011
Responsible energy development for jobs and growth
National will make the most of New Zealand’s natural resources to build a competitive economy and secure the country’s energy future in a safe and environmentally responsible way, Energy and Resources spokeswoman Hekia Parata says.
National will continue improving the security, efficiency and cost of energy supply.
“Like the rest of the world, New Zealand needs a range of energy sources to meet its energy needs in the future,” says Ms Parata.
“We also can’t ignore the major economic opportunity that continuing global oil demand stands to provide New Zealand.’
“Petroleum was our fourth-biggest export earner in 2010. New Zealand is set to earn more than $3 billion in royalties from oil and gas fields already in production. That could increase to $12.7 billion with future discoveries, which would help pay for schools, hospitals, broadband and roads,” says Ms Parata.
“But it will not be at the expense of the environment. National has introduced legislation to better protect our seas and put in place interim measures until the legislation is passed in July.
“We’ve also established a High Hazards Unit, which includes eight inspectors for the petroleum and mining industry.
“Energy has an important role to play in building a competitive economy. National’s vision is for this to happen in a balanced and environmentally responsible way,” Ms Parata says.
“We will remain focused on energy efficiency, renewable energy, the exploration of our natural resources and the pricing of carbon as we manage our environmental responsibilities and realise our economic opportunities. We also will encourage further competition among electricity retailers and continue with our five-year programme to upgrade the National Grid.
“New Zealanders are seeing the benefit of competition between retailers – National is reining in power prices by encouraging consumers to compare and switch electricity and gas retailers, ’’ Ms Parata says.
“We have also made over 130,000 homes warmer and healthier through our Warm Up New Zealand: Heat Smart programme, and helped around 180 companies increase their profitability by encouraging them to invest in energy efficiency.
“National is committed to retrofitting at least another 50,000 homes.”
New Zealand has an abundance of natural resources – hydro, geothermal, wind, oil, gas and minerals, which have a big part to play in the country’s energy supply, Ms Parata says.
“We will use those resources, in a safe and environmentally-responsible way, to lift our standard of living and strengthen our energy supply.
Under National, renewable energy levels are the highest since 1996.
“At 79 per cent, our renewable energy levels are the second-highest in the OECD, and we are on track to reaching our goal of 90 per cent electricity generation from renewables by 2025.
“National’s priorities are developing our diverse resources, ensuring we have the best environmental practices in the world, reducing energy-related greenhouse gas emissions, encouraging efficient use of energy, and ensuring our supply is both secure and affordable.
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