National vow to reverse 'rammed through' ban on new offshore oil and gas exploration permits

National are vowing to reverse the Government's "rammed through" ban on new offshore oil and gas exploration permits. 

Govt decision to end offshore oil exploration met with mixed reviews
Source: Te Karere

Energy spokesperson Jonathan Young said it was "a dark day for the energy sector", after the Crown Minerals Amendment Bill passed its Third Reading in Parliament last night. 

"The next National Government will consult widely on a planned, effective and smooth reduction of emissions to agreed levels," Mr Young said.

"The transition will embrace new technologies, and have measurable environmental and economic outcomes. In areas where technology like batteries aren’t immediately suitable, natural gas is likely to be an important fuel during our energy transition."

The Prime Minister says it’s an important step in addressing climate change. Source: 1 NEWS

However, the bill was said by Energy Minister Megan Woods to be a "transition away from a reliance on fossil fuels, and towards affordable, renewable electricity and energy". 

She said the bill would not end oil and gas exploration overnight or halt existing production. 

"Climate is this generation's nuclear-free moment, our chance to make a stand, draw a line in the sand, and lead the world once again," Dr Woods said. 

The Green Party celebrated the move, said it was a "a significant day for our transformation away from fossil fuels, and towards a clean, green, low carbon future". 

Co-leader James Shaw said the passing was an "essential step" in reducing exploration for fossil fuels.

"The burning of fossil fuels is inherently unsustainable," he said. 

Petroleum Exploration and Production Association of NZ said the legislation was "rushed through", with workers now facing uncertainty. 

"Thousands of New Zealanders work in the industry and nearly 400,000 homes and businesses rely on natural gas and LPG which now has a very uncertain future."