Kiwis’ anti-drilling messages delivered to Parliament

I spent a lot of my summer at the beach, which might sound a bit lazy for an MP in election year, but I was in it for more than the surf and sunburn. I was meeting with Kiwis concerned about deep sea oil.

Up and down the beautiful coasts of Aotearoa, people came out in their hundreds and thousands to take a stand against foreign oil companies drilling in our waters. School kids, surfers, swimmers, business people, tourism operators, fishermen, kayakers – all these people had looked at what the National Government and oil drilling companies like Anadarko are offering and said “no thanks”.

I promised those people I’d bring their concerns to Parliament, and today I did that, delivering thousands of anti-drilling messages to Energy Minister Simon Bridges.

I was joined by about 40 people who are adamant that dirty oil is not the future we want for New Zealand.

Anadarko messages

The choice for New Zealand is a stark one, and to demonstrate this, we created a 7 metre long vision of a cleaner, smarter future for New Zealand.

 Gareth Anadarko

As the National Government gags New Zealanders’ ability to fight deep sea drilling by limiting the right to protest at sea, and to have a say on proposals for exploratory wells, the Green Party is listening to the thousands of New Zealanders who want a safer, cleaner, greener future.  I was proud to represent them today.

4 Comments Posted

  1. The party monitors the blog and one of Gareth’s staffers will undoubtedly be reading these comments at some point… and this argument was brought up last year in the context of Fracking. It is a hellishly strong argument.

    If you come up with something useful here, it can be available to the caucus within the day.

  2. I agree. Though the clean/dirty meme has demonstrated effectiveness with the Green base, we must expand our tent beyond those persuadable with the time honored messaging.

    But to be fair to Gareth, he is pursuing this line of attack BjChip. In Q&A with Simon Bridges the other day, Gareth did bring up one of your points:

    Hon SIMON BRIDGES: Momentum is building in petroleum exploration. We saw new players enter in 2012 and 2013, and I think we can be confident that, through the block offer process, we will see that again this year. That is good because we want to explore all of our economic opportunities….

    Gareth Hughes: Has the Minister received any advice regarding the International Energy Agency’s statement that we can afford to burn only 20 to 30 percent of already proven oil reserves if we want to save the climate, and why is he intent on drilling for more oil deep off our coasts, risking our beaches?

    I would add the following: “And endangering New Zealand’s long term economic health.”

    What this does is turn the tables on National. We use their perceived strength against them and thereby alter perceptions of who the Greens are and whether they would be good stewards of NZ’s economy. We accuse them of economic mismanagement.

    In an earlier question, Bridges attempted the same sort of ploy, attempting to challenge popular conceptions and portray National as strongest on renewables! Make National play defense by going at the economic message of the dire economic consequences of climate change, and the short term profiteering of National sponsorship of crony capitalism.

    Let them get mired playing defense, trying to wash that oil slick off them.

  3. Gareth – Remember that the STRONG message is that we already have enough PROVEN reserves to destroy our environment.

    The message is simple. What the f**k are we thinking, looking for more?

    This is MARKET FAILURE! pure and simple, and it ends abruptly if any reasonable price is put on the emission of CO2.

    “Reasonable” has to be put in the context of what is being risked. Here is a simple version.

    Much longer

    So not only are we looking for MORE stuff we cannot afford to burn, we’re doing it in the most expensive and most risky places on the planet.

    There IS a cure for stupid. It is called death. or extinction.

    Stopping the drilling is damned important, but it isn’t simply a matter of the risk to the beach!

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