INDEPENDENT NEWS

PM to Taranaki two months too late

Published: Thu 24 May 2018 04:04 PM
Taranaki people will be respectful, but also highly disappointed about the Prime Minister’s visit tomorrow to discuss the Government’s oil and gas exploration decision and rightly so, National’s Energy and Resources Spokesperson Jonathan Young says.
“They will be thinking that Ms Ardern should have been here three weeks before the decision, not six weeks after, and they would be absolutely right,” Mr Young says.
“This process has been completely the wrong way around. We now know the Government sought no advice from anyone who knew anything before they made a call that will effect thousands of lives in Taranaki.
“Only now they learning about the immediate chilling effect of the PM’s statement is having on this industry and this region. Only now are they learning about the risks to New Zealand’s energy security. And only now are they learning their decision will do nothing for climate change.
“They rushed to appease Russell Norman and his Greenpeace mates on the steps of Parliament, and in the process threw Taranaki and the country’s energy security literally to the wind.
Mr Young says locals, though respectful, won’t be impressed with any attempts to buy them off with new initiatives tomorrow.
“Those things will be things that were needed anyway and would turn up under any Government. There is no consolation prize, nor compensation package for taking away the welcome mat for our biggest investors and employers and knee-capping a multibillion dollar industry.
“The Prime Minister should come out from behind her closed door meetings tomorrow and meet some real people. Real workers and real families whose futures are at risk because of her rash decision.
“Tomorrow is too little and way too late.”

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