“Reports that Labour is going to push through legislation to ban new mines on public conservation land shows they’re prepared to ignore common sense and the wellbeing of New Zealanders to kowtow to environmental activists,” says ACT’s Energy and Resources spokesperson Simon Court.

“Everything from computers, to cosmetics, to raincoats and backpacks, to the plastic in our phones are made from New Zealand petroleum and minerals.

“Global coal exporters will be jumping for joy. According to figures from MBIE, coal use for electricity generation was up 29.5 per cent in 2022. There is no environmental benefit to this policy if Indonesian coal is imported instead.

“Public land under DOC management contains minerals like gold, silver and rare earth elements used in everything from mobile phones to the GPS in your car. In New Zealand mining has to meet strict environmental standards and sites must be restored to a natural state once operations cease.

“The Government is trying to lead us back into the dark ages. We need clean natural gas as a transition fuel and the alternative to mining our own energy resources is importing more coal from Indonesia.

“The decision to ban new offshore oil and gas exploration in 2019 was done without analysis, without a Cabinet decision, and without public consultation.

“It was subsequently revealed that there was no cost-benefit analysis and the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment found it would actually increase global emissions by forcing activity offshore.

“If Labour proceeds with this ban, ACT will repeal it along with the original policy of banning new offshore oil and gas exploration.

“It is increasingly clear that New Zealand will need real change come 2023. ACT is ready to provide the backbone for a new Government.”

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Simon Court