PM receives rapturous applause at Victoria uni announcing end to NZ oil and gas exploration

Jacinda Ardern encountered an approving crowd today at Victoria University as she announced the end to new contracts for offshore oil and gas exploration in New Zealand, after the government was met with some criticism for the move.

Jacinda Ardern spoke to a huge rally on climate change in Wellington today, after launching her historic oil exploration ban. Source: 1 NEWS

Addressing a huge climate change rally at the Wellington university, the Prime Minister received enthusiastic applause throughout her speech which delved into some of the details of her end to oil exploration permits.

Ms Ardern outlined this year's block offer, in which new exploration permits are offered by the government to oil companies, will be limited to onshore acreage in Taranaki alone.

The government will also no longer be issuing any new offshore oil and gas exploration permits.

"This is another step on our transition away from fossil fuels and away form a carbon neutral economy," Ms Ardern said, while acknowledging this announcement alone would not be enough to combat climate change. 

The Prime Minister was also keen to reassure regions economically hit by this announcement they would not be abandoned by the government.

"We've seen before the enormous social damage done in the 1980s due to rapid, uncaring change," she said.

"I'm a child of the 80s. I grew up during a time when this country was going through a difficult economic transition in a very short period of time.

"People lost jobs suddenly, communities were gutted, families were displaced. I saw evidence of that.

"We will not let that happen again on our watch."