Using resources wisely
New Zealand is country where a lot of resources have been packed into a small geographical area. Contrary to the advert which ran on our screens for so long, we have been blessed with more than just pineapple lumps! New Zealanders deserve to be able to tap into those resources instead of buying them from overseas. Of course this must be done in a responsible way. There are risks involved but New Zealanders deserve to have access to the higher incomes and standard of living this can provide.
The third annual Block Offer has recently been released by the Government for oil and gas exploration. It covers 405,000 square kilometres. Oil is New Zealand’s fourth largest export with a value of around $1.8 billion in 2012 and the Government receives around 40 percent of the profits. This means $700 million a year for schools, hospitals and roads. If just one of the areas in this offer was opened up for production it would be a game changer for that region and the country.
New Zealand has a world-class regulatory framework to balance economic opportunity and minimise the risks. This Government has made the regime for offshore exploration much stricter by improving the role of regulators and giving them oversight where they did not have it before. For example under the previous Government, explorations more than 12 nautical miles offshore did not have comprehensive protection.