National Imperialists Courting Disaster | The Jackal

12 Apr 2011

National Imperialists Courting Disaster

Greenpeace and local East Coast iwi had a victory on Sunday. They peacefully halted oil exploration off the East Coast of New Zealand. This was achieved by going for a little swim in the ocean that just happened to be in front of Petrobras' seismic testing ship, which consequently had to alter course. Awesome! I'm going to have to buy them some beer.

National and co are clearly unhappy about this with some accusing Greenpeace and local iwi of being eco fascists, extremists and even terrorists. John Key sent the Police to the area on a Navy vessel and a couple of P-3 Orion’s have been flying reconnaissance to curtail the protestors from interfering in what the Government say is “a legal right of Petrobras” to explore the area for oil deposits.

Unfortunately there has been little consultation with local iwi or regard for their legal rights. Te Whanau a Apanui recently unanimously voted against the exploration in their waters because of the potential negative impact from oil spills, something Petrobras has not ruled out.

There is a legal opinion saying that Ministers have no right to instruct the Police in this matter and it is questionable as to whether a formal complaint has been laid at all. However today the Police believing they have the same rights in the Exclusive Economic Zone as they do on land, issued notices on the some 60 protestors. It's interesting that the Government think this course of action will work and I think this points towards the fact that there is a total disassociation from reality by the National regime.

David Clendon from the Green Party of Aotearoa was a veritable destroyer of National's misconceptions today in the House of Representatives. Labour's Maori affairs spokesperson, Parekura Horomia has come out and said the National Energy Minister Gerry Brownlee failed to consult Maori before signing over the Raukumara Basin to Petrobras International. Despite this, National is pushing on with their plans.

Hekia Parata, Nationals Associate Minister of Energy and Resources said tonight on Close Up that:

“National was dedicated to 90% renewable energy and on target at 75%.”

Now I’m no Einstein, but even I know this is a complete load of crap! Just like National's idea of an Energy Strategy, the draft of which was recently leaked and has been widely bagged as without substance and pro coal, oil and gas.

What I really don’t like is disinformation; so let’s have a look at the facts…
  1. Petrobras is one of the Worlds largest oil companies.
  2. Petrobras has a terrible history of oil spills.
  3. New Zealand does not require relief wells to be drilled to help in the event of a blow out such as that seen in the Gulf of Mexico.
  4. National does not require a secondary oil platform anywhere near in the case of an accident.
  5. New Zealand is capable of dealing with an oil spill 0.5% the size of the Deepwater Horizon.
  6. Less than 5% of the funds made from crude oil will go to New Zealand.
  7. A very limited amount of jobs will be created for New Zealanders.
  8. Other countries are moving to close down deep-sea drilling by Petrobras because of safety issues.
  9. Burning oil contributes to climate change.
  10. New Zealand is failing to meet carbon emission reduction obligations.
  11. Greenpeace will not halt their protest until Petrobras go home.
    Despite all this, the National Government show a dogged determination to drill baby drill, whatever the cost or danger. Gerry Brownlee prefers to rely on Best Practice and industry self regulation to safe guard New Zealands iconic and irreplaceable coasts and wildlife. With only one part-time inspector for the some 59 oil wells in New Zealand, some recent spills of unknown quantity in Taranaki and multiple spills by Petrobras around the World (which they refuse to pay to clean up), one can take Gerry's claims that self regulated deep sea drilling in New Zealand will be safe, with a grain of salt.

    The question must be asked; do any of the National Ministers have investments in Petrobras? The answer is simply; Too bloody bad! Invest in renewables because we don't want to add to climate change or have dangerous deep sea oil drilling in New Zealand.