Energy and Resources

Spokesperson: Simon Court

ACT will develop the resources to power our economic recovery.

ACT will:

  • Fast-track resource development by introducing a streamlined process for consenting projects and granting land access, while protecting areas with high biodiversity and conservation value
  • Require mining companies to put up hefty bonds, undertake progressive restoration, and make significant investments to deliver positive biodiversity outcomes
  • Separate the resource development and enforcement functions of MBIE
  • Repeal the ban on new offshore oil and gas exploration permits
  • Repeal the Zero Carbon Act and introduce a no-nonsense climate change plan which ties our carbon price to that of our trading partners.

600,000 New Zealanders have moved across the ditch because Australians have more job opportunities, modern infrastructure, and better education and health outcomes, including a wider range of medicines to treat serious illnesses. Resources have made Australia far wealthier over the past 30 years as compared to New Zealand.

Meanwhile, our Government is preventing New Zealanders from taking advantage of our country’s wealth by banning offshore oil and gas exploration and promising to ban new mines on conservation land.

We are sitting on the resources to power our economic recovery.

Gold, silver, titanium, copper and lithium and other resources exist in large enough quantities to power our economic recovery and create higher living standards for all New Zealanders. We also have plentiful resources of limestone, clay and hard rock for construction and manufacturing, which are currently in such short supply that major infrastructure projects like Transmission Gully are at risk.

Debates about mining have failed to distinguish high-value conservation land that must be protected from land with little or no conservation value. By opening up the latter to development, we could free up resources for doing real conservation where it counts.

DOC is expected to maintain tracks and huts in our National Parks, manage pests and look after offshore islands, so there is little money to invest in biodiversity enhancements in areas that do have high conservation value.

It takes far too long – between five and ten years – to get permits and resource consents to open a new mine, and only international investors with the deepest pockets would ever consider it. Under this Government, companies are unlikely to risk investing in New Zealand, especially given the rug was pulled out from underneath the oil and gas sector without notice in 2018.


Fast-Tracking Development

ACT will:

  • Fast-track resource development by introducing a streamlined process for consenting projects and granting land access, while protecting areas with high biodiversity and conservation value
  • Require mining companies to put up hefty bonds, undertake progressive restoration, and make significant investments to deliver positive biodiversity outcomes
  • Separate the resource development and enforcement functions of Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE).

ACT will introduce a streamlined consenting process for resource projects and land access, with requirements for the Department of Conservation and the Environmental Protection Authority to consider and approve applications in fewer than 12 months. In order to achieve this, we will amend the Resource Management Act, the Conservation Act and the Environment Act.

We will also separate out the resource development and enforcement functions of MBIE.

Companies will also be required to put up hefty bonds to cover the risk of unforeseen events and final closure. Restoration will be undertaken not at the end of the mine’s life, but progressively.

We will also require companies to make investments to deliver positive biodiversity outcomes. These outcomes will exceed what is currently mandated by DOC and regional councils, and be greater than what government can currently afford.

High-quality, best-practice resource projects will provide investment opportunities for New Zealanders, deliver tens of thousands of high-paying jobs, support local suppliers and contractors, and make New Zealand self-sufficient for generations, and actually pay for the clean green environment we aspire to.


Oil and Gas Exploration

  • ACT will repeal the ban on new offshore oil and gas exploration permits.

The Government dropped a wrecking ball on the oil and gas industry in 2018 by banning new offshore oil and gas exploration permits.

New Zealand desperately needs a cheap and plentiful supply of clean energy to sustain our economy, and the industries that generate the wealth to pay for health, education and infrastructure. Current estimates are that we will run out natural gas reserves in about seven years.

Repealing the ban on new offshore oil and gas exploration permits would give industry the confidence to reinvest in plant and equipment to support manufacturing for the next 15 to 20 years. It would sustain the high value jobs we are at serious risk of losing, while we transition away from coal for power and heat.

Natural gas

Natural gas provides about 20 percent of our primary energy, contributes $2.5 billion to GDP, and pays $500 million in royalties and taxes, annually.

It can deliver dry year electricity security at 10 percent of the cost of the proposed giant Lake Onslow pumped hydro scheme.

Natural gas is:

  • Vital in the short to medium-term to support a transition away from using coal as a heat source in industrial processes
  • Cheaper and quicker to bring on stream than new hydropower, which the Government expects to take up to 15 years to develop and connect to the national grid
  • Essential to producing urea, a safe, high-quality fertiliser which sustains our primary production sector. Without a cheap, plentiful supply of natural gas, we risk having to import dangerous fertiliser like ammonium nitrate at much higher cost, from poor and less developed countries with lower environmental standards
  • A vital component for large industrial users such as oil refineries, milk plants, timber processing, steel processing, food processing, paper and plastic manufacturing. Without access to indigenous sources of natural gas, the sustainability of businesses in these industries would be entirely dependent on imported fuel
  • An important back-up when renewable sources of electricity supply are not available
  • A key element in pursuing accelerated electrification of transport and process heat, which will achieve greater and more cost-effective greenhouse gas emissions reductions than a 100 percent renewable electricity target.

Common Sense on Climate Change

  • ACT will introduce a no-nonsense climate change plan which ties our carbon price to that of our trading partners.

ACT was the only party to oppose the Zero Carbon Act. The law is overly bureaucratic and costly. It gives massive power over the economy to the Climate Change Minister. The New Zealand Initiative think tank has called it the most expensive legislation in our history.

ACT believes New Zealand must play its part on climate change. But any response must be simple to administer, politically durable, and effective. New Zealand will only prosper if we match our goals with actions which actually benefit the environment.

If we are forced to make significantly deeper emissions cuts than our trading partners, and if we set more aggressive targets than other countries, we will impoverish ourselves and push economic activity to other countries.

In place of the Zero Carbon Act, ACT will introduce a no-nonsense climate change plan which ties New Zealand’s carbon price to the prices paid by our top five trading partners. This will show the world New Zealand is doing its bit. It is a simple and effective response to climate change.

 

Developing the resources to power our economic recovery.

Change Your Future. Party Vote ACT.