Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters has angrily denied that New Zealand First has “swallowed a dead rat” and that a ban on new future oil and gas exploration was a win for the Greens.
Mr Peters said NZ First had long said sound environmentalism made good economic sense and the ban was a win for all the parties in the coalition.
“The reality is we campaigned as a political party, that’s NZ First, we started way back 25 long years ago saying sound environmentalism is good economics, we’ve never changed our view on that and that’s why we’re not the problem here at all,” Mr Peters told TVNZ1’s Breakfast.
“This is a win for three political parties, the two in coalition and the support party.”
“Put it that way and you might be doing better for the people of this country than to put up something so confrontational which you know we are seriously averse to.”
Mr Peters said the ban on new future oil and gas exploration made sense given the way the world had been tracking in the last 10 to 15 years.
“We don’t know the future, we don’t know how it will develop, we are pretty certain of one thing, the way the world has been going the last 15 years or 10 years is any indication than a lot of this will be wanton theory without future relevance and I believe that is critically important,” he said.
“The coalition government is very set and firm about where we want to go in the future while ensuring our economic survival and sustainable lifestyle.”
Mr Peters also said the numbers MBIE had provided about the economic harm the ban would cause were incorrect.
“Let me tell you, without being nasty on MBIE, that if NASA had had those sort of calculations, I think Neil Armstrong would still trying to be find the moon,” he said.
“Here’s the point, they start at $200 million and the gap is between $200 million and possibly not just $8 billion, but $22 billion.”
“So really this is totally uncharted territory and would require something far better by way of formulaic solution then what they put out.”