Wellington Scoop

Stopping oil exploration permits “just first step,” say campaigners

News from Oil Free Wellington
When Jacinda Ardern addresses Victoria University students at 12.30pm today, she needs to remember that stopping deep sea oil block offers is just the first step.

“All exploration and drilling permits need to close now. We can establish a just transition for workers and communities affected by the end of the oil and gas industry,” says Oil Free Wellington spokesperson James Barber.

OIl Free Wellington helped organise the recent blockade of the oil and gas summit at the TSB Arena in Wellington.

“Today’s announcement that there will be no new offshore exploration permits is a great first step. It acknowledges the calls for action tangata whenua and community groups have been making for decades. Nevertheless, far more action is needed to prevent catastrophic climate change.”

“Even as the government talks about the end of oil and gas, new coal mines are still being considered on the west coast. Drilling and exploration for oil and gas will also continue onshore in Taranaki. There are already tens of thousands of kilometres offshore open for oil and gas exploration. This flies in the face of the current climate science. We cannot burn all the fossil fuels already discovered, let alone explore for more.”

“Today a consultation for new proposed block offer on land in Taranaki has been released. For those living through fracking in their backyard three years is too long to wait for the end of block offers in Taranaki.”

“The Council of Trade Unions has stated they are ready to start a just transition now. It is great that the government has begun planning a just transition. The government should listen to union, iwi, hapu, and community groups about how to start this transition now, rather than in thirty years when it may be too late.”

“Those worst affected by climate change are those who have contributed the least towards it. Indigenous Peoples, our Pacific neighbours, and those already suffering under the high costs of living need to be central to decision making on climate change. For example, you can’t fairly impose a fuel tax without first making sure there are real public transport, walking and cycling options for those on low incomes.”

Oil Free Wellington celebrates everyone who has shown the strength of the climate justice movement and pushed the government to make these important first steps: Te Ara Whatu, Te Ikaroa, Oil Free Otago, Climate Justice Taranaki, Taranaki Energy Watch, Greenpeace New Zealand, It’s Our Future Manawatu, the Frack Free Network, Coal Action Network and 350 Aotearoa, among many others.

Oil Free Wellington also sends solidarity and support to all the groups on the front lines of the struggle for climate justice and against the fossil fuels industry — in Aotearoa and around the world.

News release from Anglican Bishops
Right Reverend Justin Duckworth, Anglican Bishop of Wellington, has welcomed the announcement today that the Government will not issue any new permits for offshore oil and gas drilling.

“Today’s announcement is a step forward in loving our global neighbours. As New Zealanders, we cannot love others properly while ignoring our own contribution to climate change. Ending new offshore exploration permits is one significant step in our transition to a clean economy. The sooner we transition, the sooner we can live in loving relationships with our global neighbours, and our environment which is our common home,” Bishop Justin said.

Last month, Christians joined demonstrations outside the Petroleum Conference calling for an end to all new exploration permits. Leading up to that action, many church leaders wrote to the Energy Minister and church members visited her to share their concerns. This follows other climate action by the Anglican Diocese of Wellington, including divesting from fossil fuels, employing a climate advocate and supporting the Zero Carbon Act campaign.

Bishop Justin continued: “Today’s announcement shows the government is listening. We thank them for that and encourage them to take further steps towards a clean economy, including ruling out new coal mines and ending subsidies for the fossil fuel sector.”


  1. Chris Mann, 12. April 2018, 13:56

    Beware the Green zealots eventually they will have us all living in very expensive caves

  2. Victoria Hilliam, 12. April 2018, 14:07

    Thanks Chris, it is good to keep things in perspective isn’t it.

  3. Grant Guilford, 12. April 2018, 14:13

    Great to witness leadership and moral courage in the government’s decision announced at @VicUniWgtn to end offshore oil exploration. [via twitter]

  4. TrevorH, 13. April 2018, 6:52

    A reckless and arrogant decision which must be challenged. The future of this country looks dire.

  5. Andrew, 13. April 2018, 7:23

    A truly arrogant decision was the selling off of power companies that were owned by everyone to just those that could afford it.

  6. Ralf, 13. April 2018, 8:11

    Awesome decision. Finally something to be proud of again.

    Having said that, unless there is some national consensus around this decision (like e.g. nuclear-free NZ) it would be easy for the next National government to overturn it again.