Opposition critical of PM consideration of gas exploration
The Prime Minister says she's still considering gas and oil exploration proposals and is not ruling out permits to explore for other resources.
The opposition alleges that the PM has been two-faced with National leader Simon Bridges saying she’s misleading the public as today's statement is at odds with what she told anti-oil drilling campaigners recently.
“There's a world of difference between what she said on the forecourt, big talk to Greenpeace and what she actually said in her post-cabinet presser. Even getting rid of it and ending all new gas and oil exploration - frankly, I doubt that will happen, but I think words really matter.”
Bridges also said that if she stops mining bids it could put New Zealand’s economy in jeopardy.
“The thousands of jobs, the billions of dollars, effectively she'll be slicing off a large section of our economy.”
But the PM Jacinda Ardern says it makes sense to carefully consider bids from mining companies.
“We are working through how we way up all those wide-ranging considerations, particularly around jobs and the effect on the regions.”
She also says she’s considering the future.
“We are trying to make a decision as quickly as we can within the coming weeks and months. Keeping in mind some of those alternative energy sources and things we want to do in the future still rely on extractive industries, silica for instance.”
In the meantime, environmental groups are waiting for the government's decision on whether they will give the green light to mining companies.