Shane Jones versus Labour on oil drilling

Shane Jones seems to be at odds with Labour colleagues on oil drilling. Stuff reports: Drilling could split Labour

The standoff over deep sea drilling off the Raglan coast is threatening a split in Labour.

Labour MP has backed oil drilling giant Anadarko in a move which puts him at odds with other members of the caucus, including environment spokeswoman who today called for a slow down in the mineral exploration programme. …

Speaking on Maori TV’s Te Kaea tonight, Jones was outspoken about attempts to stop Anadarko from deep sea drilling and said the protesters should remember that the company had a statutory right to be there.

“Protesters need to bear in mind we are buying oil out of the Gulf of Mexico and other far-flung places when we should be focusing on making an industry in our own country.”

Shane Jones (and Andrew Little) in July – Labour duo keen to talk jobs and growth:

Controversial Labour Party bigwig Shane Jones has moved to position the party well clear of the Greens and their “anti-development” message.

In Taranaki for a two-day visit with party justice spokesman list MP Andrew Little, the regional development spokesman spent much of the first day pow-wowing with oil and gas industry players.

“I am keen to defang these misapprehensions that are abounding that somehow industry has disappeared from our purview.

“Nothing could be further from the truth and if my visit provides the opportunity to reinforce the centrality of jobs, the importance of industry and the need for a future Labour-led government to assuage whatever anxieties might be there in the minds of employers or future investors then I am up for the task,” he said.

Offshore oil and gas drilling was an essential feature of domestic and export growth, Mr Jones said, and businesses and enterprises enabling it would get full government support.

There was an appetite for such growth in Taranaki but the “anti-development” message was strong on the East Coast, where oil and gas exploration is on the increase, and in the Far North, where he was attending an anti-mining hui next month.

Labour’s Environment spokespersdon Moana Mackey is a part of the “anti-development” message on the East Coast. Mackey in September – Block offer 2014 premature without protections:

“Labour has repeatedly stated drilling should only take place if we have the capability to manage a disaster and once robust safeguards are in place.

Labour’s Wellington MPs are also concerned about the considerable expansion of the Pegasus-East Coast Basin with an area of 75,136 square kilometres now up for consultation.

“A Labour government will ensure there are strong environmental protections and listen to affected communities concerned about environmental risks,” Moana Mackey says.

And in the Stuff report:

But Mackey appeared to back the protesters and blamed the Government for Greenpeace’s announcement that it intends to challenge the Environmental Protection Authority’s (EPA) decision to allow Anadarko to carry out deep sea drilling off the Raglan coast .

She said the regulatory environment under which Anadarko was permitted to drill was “deliberately permissive” and the process had been a shambles.

She also accused the Government of being desperate to expedite deep sea oil and gas exploration because it had no plan B for jobs – which also puts her at odds with Jones, who believes mining is a potential boon for jobs.

David Cunliffe seems to agree with that position – see Cunliffe would stop deep sea drilling. Cunliffe seems to have aligned with Mackey and there has been no sign of him supporting Jones’ aims.

David Shearer hasn’t made any media comments as spokesperson on Energy and Resources – – but he has posted on his Facebook page:

26 October

As Labour’s energy spokesman I’ve had some great meetings with experts in renewables – the way of the future for a clean and clever country like ours.

International research shows that an investment in clean energy creates two to four times as many jobs as the same investment in fossil fuel industries #logicalchoice

He also answered a comment:

Robyn Harris-Iles Make it Labour policy, David!

David Shearer yes, that’s the aim

Not specifically anti-drilling there but a definite leaning towards renewables.

It appears that Jones is at odds with Cunliffe, Mackey and Shearer. It’s unknown if Little has changed his leaning since touring Taranaki with Jones.

And remember that this is just within Labour. If they make it into government next year they will be reliant on the Greens who will presumably do everything they can to oppose drilling new oil wells.

Leave a comment


  1. It really doesn’t bother me that there is drilling off Raglan. It’s not that bad

    • Darryl

       /  27th November 2013

      Me either Quentin. Mountain out of a mole hill, as far as I am concerned.

      • I am getting quite tired of the so-called environmental lobby making such ridiculous noises about something that might not happen. I understand the ship off Raglan is just doing an exploratory search for possible oil or gas. Great! If it’s there, then it would help our pathetic economy. Suddenly the local iwi are looking to take a legal action to “stop drilling”. whatever! All very very annoying

        • Darryl

           /  27th November 2013

          Oh yes, I am tired of it too. Complaining morning and night, and yes if it helps our economy. GO for it.

        • Yeah, though Deepwater Horizon and the Montara disaster off Western Australia were both exploratory drilling too. If it helps our economy but adds to the climate chaos that’s not helping our economy or our grandkids is it?

          • Halting the use of oil is unlikely to help our grandkids either. It would severely impact on my grandkids. We need to phase out of oil use but that’s going to take a long time if we want to maintain a reasonable standard of living.

  2. Pete,
    Touche. There is no innovation that supplants our lust for oil. I am not concerned about exploratory search for oil because the industry has some pretty good standards. Besides the NZ Government would be extremely concerned – they approved the search did they not?

  3. Admin,
    I do share your concerns – however for a oil exploratory operation to work here they have to have an impeccable record of ‘good practice’.

    Yes I am concerned that our lust for oil isn’t that wonderful, but who on this planet of 7 billion has the alternative and I would also add that the oil industry since 1901 has had a huge impact on the way we live, work, commute,etc – so how do we change that pattern? These are questions I have been asking myself for a number of years – not easy to answer.


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