Deep sea oil and love don’t mix

Locals, surfers, Green Party members, dog lovers & beach lovers at Piha

Yesterday we launched our plan to keep New Zealand beaches free from oil spills.

With Piha’s world-famous waves crashing in the background, we stood in the local surf club and announced that the Green Party will prohibit all deep sea oil drilling if in Government.

We’ll do this because we love our beaches, and they are too precious to put at risk from an industry that we don’t need and many New Zealanders don’t want.

The deep sea drilling genie needs to stay in the bottle.

Russel Norman with Green Party supporter Caitlin Harrison at the Piha surf club

Fiona who runs the local campground MC’d the event. She pointed out that Tourism Minister John Key doesn’t visit Piha much and that he’d rather fly to Hawaii than drive the half an hour to this “magnificent treasure” of a New Zealand beach.

“He’s selling New Zealand down the road by allowing deep sea drilling,” she told assembled locals, surfers, Mums, Dads, Green Party supporters and journalists.

Fiona Anderson, who runs the Piha campground.Tania Gaborit (behind her) was instrumental in the Rena clean up

Like New Zealand chose to go nuclear free, we can add to our national environmental identity by also being deep sea oil free.

Green Party Energy & Oceans spokesperson Gareth Hughes at Piha; iconic Lion Rock in the background

It’s a well-established fact that when it comes to offshore drilling, the deeper you go, the greater the risk.

There are no deep sea wells in New Zealand, so now is the time to prohibit the practice.

We want our beautiful beaches open for swimming, not closed for oil spills.

For more information on our policy:

35 Comments Posted

  1. We have different values from Labour. Hearing John Key discuss how we should come to some agreement with them so we can both be the same is an insult. It is also dead wrong. This is why we HAVE MMP… well this and allowing Peter Overdunne and some guy from ACT to help trash the country, but that’s another issue.

    This is the horrendous mistake that New Labour here and the Democratic Party in the United States have made. “We’ve got to win the next election so we’ve got to appease people who don’t share our values, so we’re going to become like them. Instead of trying to assert our own values, we are going to go over to them and say, ‘Look, we’re not really red; we’re not scary at all. We are actually conservatives.’” That was Tony Blair’s message. That was Bill Clinton’s message. That, I’m afraid, is Barack Obama’s message.

  2. Dave. Edit offline so you can cut and paste what you want to say in an instant. If it doesn’t work you don’t have to retype. If you get a short window you still have a shot… that’s all I have… if I think of something more I’ll suggest it. Enjoy holiday?


  3. Gerrit I am back on board as I see a golden oppoortunity showing this blog to as many young voters as possible – they get what you can’t, but I guess they are looking to the future – not the past.

    As to this assumption about fuel on a photo shop not being planned for fuel efficiency – I see it coming from a preconceived position about the type of leadership you want. Privelage and pomp – not example. All else is speculation, by me or you – we don’t know how much they planned – it wasn’t at a remote beach but one close to Auckland where other engagements were likely, and likely the local businesses and surfers wanted it??

    The sort of assissination of character is reminiscent of the Brethren campaign with Don Brash. A mate of mine in the heavy machinery business says the Brethren have increased there holdings in businesses selling same – interesting when this Government is pushing all the extra roading – Pay back??

    I will stay off this debate on leadership now and move to positive things. We are missing another golden opportunity with natural fibre alternatives to fuel. Captain Cook said Maori flax ropes and nets were the best he had seen in the world – a tough but soft to handle fibre. Places like the Hauraki Plains that are going to flood again with present climate scenarios is where it grew and is part of the water filtering system. If we start planting it back along the riverbanks then it is doing its job and we are developing a future resource. Much off the catchment canals and rivers in that area are Regional Council owned and leased to adjacent farms. These leases could be returned as properties changed hands or if the leassor wished and plants planted. Community planning but lots of economic potential.

    As for the not in my back yard, that is negated by the fact the climate reponse will be world wide affecting our primary production. The less speculative and ecologically risky projects are the first to put aside to keep international prices down if we are changing direction, and our future generations gain all ways.

  4. BJ
    Getting anything out from Sri Lanka is an accomplishment, comprehensible is an almost unattainable dream.
    But almost leaves some room for work. So I will continue to try


    PS. Typed this three times before the signal held up long enough to get it onto the net. Might have to move closer to town 🙁

  5. oldlux

    Somewhere in a previous post you said

    I am sure the readers can see how weak your arguements have become so I will leave you to your world of spin

    But you just cannot let go. Fair enough.

    Lets add another scenario to my objections of the Greens senior management team using fossil fuel resources to stage a photo opportunity.

    That fossil fuel has come from where? Some deep sea well over the horizon?. So whilst against deep sea drilling in New Zealand, they are happy to use fossil fuel derived from someone else’s back yard.

    NIMBY at its worst.

    If unable to see the hypocrisy of you expounding the virtue of using less fossil fuel, yet happy for the Greens senior MP’s to use a heap for a contrived photo opportunity, then your judgement is blinkered.

    One day your “young” people, that cannot see the hypocrisy, will grow up and recall, jeez, that old fool Gerrit had a point.

    They will realise that they cannot promote reduced fossil use if flying, driving, scooting about using a barrel full themselves.

    Anyone with a brain would say, back off the mindless growth in fossil fuel use and tighten our belt some, and look at the alternatives.


    What have the Greens senior MP’S done to promote alternative energy use? Did they drive from Auckland Airport in a electric powered car? No? Why not? See that would be leadership by example!!

    Did they catch the train from Wellington to Auckland and back again as it is partly electrified through the central North Island. No? Why not? See that would be leadership by example!!

  6. I used to have a styrofoam cup the size of a shot glass. It HAD been an ordinary cup until we sent it on a BT drop off the TOTO test range in the Bahamas.

    If it’s too deep to be able to fix things if they break*, that’s too deep.

    In this context clearly the amount of time associated with “fixing” has to be considered. You have the emergency equipment on local standby your odds of getting what you want might improve…. or not. I don’t regard drilling for more oil as being sane until there is no more burning of the stuff at all. Stop the drilling… get the price up to where noses start to bleed and society changes course, and then if we need feedstock for chemicals and we REALLY need it… we can let our kids drill.

    No rush. If it is down there it isn’t going anywhere unless we DO suck it out, so let future generations have the pleasure. We have some adaptation to do.

    You know, that “adaptation” that everyone says we ought to do to accommodate the changing climate??? That nobody ACTUALLY does but they like to use it as an excuse for doing nothing???

  7. Dunno about that demand. At what price?

    Cotton and Wool and Linen instead of synthetics from the deep sea oil… clothing that is comfortable and we can make ourselves, employment for New Zealanders in the bargain… no risk of wrecking our coastline by having a well blow out… fewer imported products so less money going overseas…

    You know that at some price for oil, the natural products get to be competitive again… and that price is going to show up in time. All that happens we stop people drilling here, is that we’ve adapted to it before anyone else… and we have a society and economy that actually works instead of the exploitation and third world goals that Key and National are working towards.

  8. Dave… I might actually agree with what you said here if it were actually in a comprehensible form. OTOH, I hadn’t heard of oil being able to be burned in nuclear reactions either.

    Countries will not regulate to lower fissile fuel consumption as long as there is a market for its products.

    I think you need to remember ships and plains as well as automobiles and trains… but I don’t know off the top of the head either.

  9. PS I have shown your rants to a few young family and friends and they see it as the typical older generation looking after themselves and it is spurring them to vote – keep it up.

  10. Gerrit you delude yourself that your diatribe is at all any semblance of debate or arguement.
    Asserting the Greens Leadership is putting up some sort of plea for others to do something that they are not has no grounds in logic. They haven’t claimed everybody should go without oil. They say we have to learn to cut back and use the resource we have to change direction. There is no evidence in your claims they are not doing this themselves. You are trying to create an image – a spin that has no substance but in your own bull s…. You would rather believe the spin of a whole lot of industrial players who have vested interest than a majority of independant scientists who tell us survival of society is at stake. You are either exremely blinded by ideaology or extremely fearful to face the reality.

    Anyone with a brain would say, back off the mindless growth in fossil fuel use and tighten our belt some, and look at the alternatives. If the climate scenario has missing elements that point to error, the next generation has gained anyway as they have more of a finite resource. This lack of perception of a limit to what we have is what has finished off many past civilisations – is that what you want just to prove some inane point??

  11. BJ,

    Where do I get off? Oh about never. Am on this journey for the duration.

    So are we not to question the “do as I say, not as I do” attitude??

    Your vehemence is palpable. Must have struck a nerve eh!

    Is your attitude that the Greens leadership is above reproach?

    Green advocate for the entire society to change, but where is the leadership towards this change? Lead by example too much to ask?

    So pissed of with the Al Gore’s attitude on display by the Greens leadership, that I will never get off. Someone got to hold them to account.

    FYWAF-S ?? You must be a scientist talking in an unknown language. Care to elaborate?

    Your righteous indignation is way, way of the mark. But if that is the best level of your argument so be it.

    I’ll put up with it as the best you can accomplish.

  12. You keep expecting other people to change but not the Greens leadership. If the Greens wont “walk the talk” why should anyone else?

    And there it is again. “Other People”

    WHERE THE FUCK DO YOU GET OFF GERRIT. YOU KNOW BETTER. Greens advocate for the entire society to change. Asserting that it is only “other” people is a subtle but inaccurate and untrue shift in meaning that amounts to a lie.

    You know better. I’m not here for a while and you think you can get away with this stuff?

  13. Me, I partake because nothing else is available. I don’t preach abstinence and partake at the same time.

    So why should you demand that those who are campaigning for the SOCIETY to do something for ALL of us to partake of equally, providing something else in place of the “nothing else” you so aptly observe is provided for us all, that WE should have to give up FIRST?

    Oh yeah… because you want to spin things. The fact that it fails to be a viable logical requirement for ANY advocacy of ANY change seems to have escaped you. Basically you propose to prevent change by ensuring that those who wish to advocate any cannot be heard, or better cannot survive.


    You know better, and you should know better.

    This country is being pushed into a third world exploitative economy… our assets are being sold, even the ones that can’t be safely extracted.

    This is just one example of that. Greens advocate the construction of more non-emitting power sources, the creation of more industry for New Zealanders to participate in, and innovation that will give us SOME capacity to compete in the wide world. You seem to think that because we have to use same resources as everyone else, because we ARE a part of the society, that our advocacy is somehow at fault. Where did you learn logic?

  14. dbuckley, I do agree that people create the demand, but they are led a big part by a perverse group of people who put there greed ahead of the common good. Misinformation or hiding information is their tool of trade.

    The type of leadership that does that needs to be exposed but most media now is geared to profit out of stimulating mass consumption.

    Thus my praise to the Green leadership for persisting to expose the clap trap and educate people to the true cost of the indulgence.
    When people continue the dispensing of the lies and half truths I get upset and see them as no better than someone who would drown or suffocate others for their own indulgence – Nazi Germany comes to mind.

  15. DS is right but using the wrong word.

    The key words are “our” and “we”. As long as we continue to create the demand for petrochemical based products, then there will be pressure to drill, drill, drill.

    I, like Oldlux, it appears, am on a permanent crusade to reduce my energy consumption. I piss myself laughing when I see SUVs with “No fracking in Canterbury” bumper stickers. Do these people not realise that they are the problem?

  16. I am sure the readers can see how weak your arguements have become so I will leave you to your world of spin

    See you. Cant argue so quit. When asked for verification on mythical travel assumptions you obfuscate.

    Leading, by leaving example. Very familiar.

  17. Sorry Oldlux, you just don’t get it.
    Countries will not regulate to lower fissile fuel consumption as long as there is a market for its products. I think (but could still be wrong) you will find that the majority of extracted crude oil is not used for transport.

  18. It seems the previous two contributors can’t really comprehend what they read or only read what they want to hear. But that is fine – keep it up – you are great examples to the casual reader of this sight of the sort of leadership we have in the world at present.

    Firstly dave, it is obvious about market mechanisms, and if you look at the Peak oil question you see that the market for oil will go through peaks and lows till declining. This, however will be offset by non-market issues that will become market issues. The increase of negative weather events such as the extra strong winds being encountered, the extra dry conditons in parts, the rain dumps we are getting, will make our economy – the market – unproductive in its present sense and is predicted to cost more to the economy than all growth factors. As countries regulate to lower fossil fuel usage the present stocks of oil will become adequate for a long time – something like 80% of our present stocks are adequate under this model so new exploration is futile.

    Gerrit – you in particular are making things up. Go back to previous posts

    “The way I know Green people tend to operate is pack a lot of activities into one trip so as to maximise the resource used. As we don’t know the schedule then we can’t argue one way or another. We do know that reduction of usage isn’t abstinance.” I already say no point is made either way about usage – except the Green way of doing things – IRD saved millions adopting them. Air flight types is irrelevant.

    I don’t support or admire Dotcom but point out that he is doing little different than most of the big players in the tech industry. Analysis not personality idolation.

    I am sure the readers can see how weak your arguements have become so I will leave you to your world of spin.

  19. Please define “deep sea”.
    Also: is drilling for gas banned in “deep sea” (whatever deep sea is).
    Finally, what is your policy on coastal shipping, noting of course that “New Zealand’s Worst Environmental Disaster” was caused by, well, coastal shipping, and had nothing to do with “Deep Sea Drilling”.

  20. oldlux,

    You keep expecting other people to change but not the Greens leadership. If the Greens wont “walk the talk” why should anyone else?

    If they use seats on a standard flight from Wellington they are setting a lot better example than John Key or Gerry Brownlee who indulge in their own importance to justify single flights rather than sort out a schedule.

    You have a published link to Dr Normans, Gareth Hughes, John Key and Gerry Brownlee’s itineraries to verify these claims?

    Talk about extreme! You are making stuff up without verification. By the way there are only “standard” seats on internal flights, Local business class went west long time ago.

    If you think MegaUpload was for sharing non-copyright information and not a method to share pirated, copyright protected information I have the Auckland harbour bridge for sale.

    Jeez, if DotCon was so sure he was not doing anything illegal, why not face up to the courts? Surely the price of freedom is to present yourself to the court to argue the freedom to do what one has done?

    If he is your idea of a trust worthy person, good for you. Hope you vote for him.

    To me he is a charlatan, not a caped crusader as some seem to think. The internet would be a lot freer if idiots like DotCon didn’t let people upload pirated material and charge people to download illegal distributed, copyrighted files.

  21. Gerrit
    No worries mate, I was just a bit confused.

    Simple market mechanics. As the supply ‘dwindles’ the price goes up and consumption reduces.

    Problem is, oil production and consumption is not dwindling, as the other products it contributes raw materials to have growing demand.

  22. PS If information, outside of the advertising “market” is what is influencing the downturn in fuel sales then does this mean that the suppression of that information is in the interest of the vested interests who invest in selling fuel. That is why misinformation has been a tool of fuel companies (their own admission). I contend it is the same reason huge corporates are trying to use IT patents and copyrights to stiffle the free internet – thus the FBI chasing Dotcom for providing the system for people to share information – even though Microsoft and many others including equipment providers are doing the same, when it is individuals and how they use said technology. A paradox of the opening up of any technology – indicating the need for a wise balance of inputs to keep it fair. Surely a process of honest democratic politics.

  23. Gerit you try to come over as clever but there are clear gaps in your logic. You use an extreme position to try and show a position that is totally irrelevant as your own statements show. If the position is to “reduce” the usage of fossil fuels then doing a trip to Piha to do what Politicians do is not an example of anything. The way I know Green people tend to operate is pack a lot of activities into one trip so as to maximise the resource used. As we don’t know the schedule then we can’t argue one way or another. We do know that reduction of usage isn’t abstinance. If they use seats on a standard flight from Wellington they are setting a lot better example than John Key or Gerry Brownlee who indulge in their own importance to justify single flights rather than sort out a schedule. All people are busy in some way so the sense of privelage is the definer about their business being more important than others. The same sense of self importance is with the various criminal gang leaders that take what belongs to others or supply drugs and alcohol that wreck the lives of their users families.

    If the market is individuals who purchase then the decline in fuel usage being noticed in the world and influencing the profitability of oil companies and airlines indicates individuals are changing as they are being informed. Surely a collective of individuals purchasing is a market – or is a Stock Market a fictional enterprise. Semantics to cover your clap trap.

    All a diversion on your part for a lack of real arguement or real answers.

  24. Dave,

    Actually what I wrote does not make sense in the cold light of the night and after three red wines.

    Should read

    “The Greens preach abstinence but still partake”. Clearer?

    Me, I partake because nothing else is available. I don’t preach abstinence and partake at the same time.


    All sounds so good and so camp fire-ish. Problem is there is no “market”. No such thing. There is however individual people willing to purchase goods and services and who decide what to partake in.

    If leadership is going to lead surely they would set the trends for the “others” to follow?

    If the “leaders” are in favour of lower usage for oil derived products, let them lead by not using.

    Is that not what “leaders” do? Lead by example?

    Leaders that display “do as I say, not as I do” attitudes (Al Gore, am looking at you) are pseudo leaders. They preach and promote abstinence yet sup at the table of intemperance.

    How many of those leaders in the beach photograph used a horse and buggy to get to the gathering? How many used petrol? How many used diesel? How many used aviation fuel?


    Yeah, real leadership on show in that photograph.


  25. Both Gerrit and dave stringer can teach us a lot about leadership. They say it is everybody elses fault that they buy products that are not sold with total openness and honesty. People behave on the information they are given unless they are unable to make a reasoned decision. In both cases there is a trust in the information given. Advertising selling the product is hardly ever information but a calculated push to create an emotional response – especially to tantalise. There is little money from an independant source analysing the wider social implication. Those prepared to sell and let the market choose in this general environment should be happy with public analysis but instead we have corporations hiding their intentions behind, commercial sensitivity etc. A general attempt to hide from what they see as a conflict of their interest versus the communities . An honest market would allow this public analysis, and if others gained knowledge and innovated the market would be at work. Instead investment is protected, to protect the power of that monetary block of investors. The more money involved the less fair the actual productive market becomes for new entrants. To me Leadership is the ability to find answers that create positive outcomes for the greater good, even when the information we have needs a greater sacrifice than we expect. This is especially so when previous data we had proves to be wrong. We see with this government, a blind following of old dogmas that fail to see that past answers have not worked, and in fact with a great number of cases of pure entitlement such as Airport security ignorance or credit card abuse. The concept that the market is smart enough to balance this is another mistruth that puts the responsibility somewhere else. Jeanette Fitzsimon’s showed all parties the meaning of integrity and I am proud to see the Green Party maintains her dignity, despite the trivial bull s… that the ruling party and an indulgent media churns out. Education stopped Nuclear Power here, stopped the destruction of rainforests here, and can now stop the continuing reliance on fossil fuels at the peril of life itself. Leaders are working on it in the market, in educating people and democraticaly. The mindless knockers are as irrelevant as the information they provide, as time will prove them to be an element of the weather destruction. Some religious thinkers even think they are on the money by allowing the destruction in their teacher’s name when the same teacher said those destroying the earth would be also destroyed – ironic really.

    Waiting for technological replacements actually shows there are no ideas to lead with. It is like saying it is going to be cold when the firewood runs out, and then sitting there and not going to get more – true leadership!!

  26. Gerrit
    how much plastic involved in your computing set up at home?

    I guess your statement “I don’t preach abstinence but still partake” means you don’t preach abstinence, if I’m wrong, I guess you won’t be using your computer any more.

    Having and using a computer is putting off your sacrifice

    Bottom line? Man is innovative and has always conquered its lack of resources by developing new technologies. The issue is not “can we” but rather “what is causing us to”, and that’s what is missing. Human nature says NIMFLS, and until there is non available, we will have to wait for replacements.

  27. oldlux,

    similarly you are not comprehending in what I’m saying. If customers are willing to buy the un-required IT upgrades, the suppliers will provide.

    All the customers has to say is no thanks.

    Same with oil based products, if people stopped using, the suppliers wont provide.

  28. Gerrit did you not get what I was saying. The companies produce what is on the market now, and where is the recycling, in the community, the durability is only several years before the product fails. What do a huge percentage of the products really add to the economic usability? I used to be an IT System designer and know companies pushed the usage as sexy but often did little more than what was already happening, at a huge reinvention cost.

    We set these industry heads up culturally as community leaders when all they are showing is corporate self interest. If their ambitions are so shallow they are vultures that need regulating.

    I applaud the Green leadership for their examples of humanity, reason, openness and common sense.

  29. Dave

    We know you won’t do it!!

    Absolutely not, I don’t preach abstinence but still partake!! See the subtle difference?


    good on you for doing “your” bit. Shows personal responsibility. Do you think the Greens leadership is showing that?

    Big tech (or any other company big or small) can only develop what their customers will purchase.

    Back in misspent corporate days was part of the team that developed and marketed a water based, ecological friendly aerosol paint. Primary customer base was forestry who use aerosol paints (for tree marking) by the pallet load (schools were another market).

    But at 18% higher price, no one wanted to buy it.

    That is but one example of many, that varies companies creating eco friendlier products for the market place have faced.

    No I wont be lobbying any tech company, for unless the customers will buy it, it ain’t worth developing.

    So any product not only has to be cheaper, it has to perform equally or better for the purchaser to change.

    Guess a chicken and egg situation but that is reality.

  30. PS I hope Gerrit lobbies the big tech companies to improve quality and stabilise their developments so that people can both have the technology and a future at the same time. Only idiots would do otherwise. If the oil companies thought the same way we wouldn’t be having this debate as their processes wouldn’t be threatening my life style. A rape culture isn’t far away from this type economic arrogance about others rights to choice also.

  31. The actions in this blog post is showing responsible leadership. If ning nongs keep putting off their personal choices to make sacrifice and then divert attention by saying others must change first then we will have no economy based on primary production either. The storms and dry spells will get worse. The reponses in several posts so far sound like National Party policy. We won’t lead as it might put us at a disadvantage in the short term. The disadvantage is already here when you look at the science. Insurance costs are already hicking – that industry won’t make a loss? Extreme choices as to resource usage isn’t smart either but reduction by about two thirds has to be planned for. I have Parkinson’s Disease and I am sorting it out to cut my car usage by that much – even grocery shopping planned by bus. I am a Green activist since the early 70.s and have been reducing my resource usage and actively recycling all that time. I’m still fine but I feel I am subsidising the nut cakes that are too selfish. My kids are proud of me though.

  32. Personal responsibility needs to be shown, especially from the Green party leaders and supporters as leaders in an oil free society.

    We know you won’t do it!!

  33. The answer is simple, if you personally don’t want to add to oil production.

    Simply stop using these oil derived products.

    For where there is demand there will be production.

    But if ALL the Greens stop using oil derived products then production would fall and the planet returned to health. No??

    Personal responsibility needs to be shown, especially from the Green party leaders and supporters as leaders in an oil free society.

    We know you can do it!!

    If you do, we readers of this blog wont know as you wont use a computer to notify your abstinence from oil derived products. But then again we wont as there will be no frogblog. No computers to post on, no internet to communicate on, etc.,etc., etc.

  34. According to the Herald

    A new report was handed on to summit chair UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and to the French government, hosting the 2015 conference under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

    “Ambitious national action is critical to averting dangerous climate change,” Ban said in a press release from New York. “This report shows what is possible.”

    To have a “likely” chance of meeting 2 C, and factoring in a global population set to rise from 7.2 billion to 9.5 billion by mid-century, countries must reduce average per capita carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from 5.2 tonnes today to 1.6 tonnes in 2050, the report said.

    It would mean that annual emissions should peak very swiftly and fall sharply thereafter.

    “We are just about out of time for reaching this crucial limit,” said Jeffrey Sachs, director of Columbia University’s Earth Institute in New York, who also headed the network that authored the report.

    This means it is totally useless drilling for more expensive oil anyway and it is both an ecological and economic waste of resources and time.

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