Two stand aside for Huo

It has been suggested this would happen for some time but now the way has publicy been cleared for Raymond Huo to return to Parliament should Jacinda Ardern win this week’s Mt Albert by-election.

Huo lost his seat in Parliament  in 2014 because he was three short of the list cut-off.

Andrew Little just made the final cut at 11 on the list (electorate MPs are ranked lower but get in automatically).

There were two other ex-list MPs who were placed higher than Huo at 21 who missed the cut, Maryan Street (15) and (Moana Mackey (17).

It was a bit embarrassing for Labour to have no Asian MPs, particularly when they launched their infamous Chinese surname attack.

After the Mt Albert by-election was confirmed Mackey said she wasn’t interested in returning to Parliament.

Gisborne Herald: Moana Mackey rules out return to the Beehive

FORMER Gisborne-based Labour list MP Moana Mackey has countered conjecture she is contemplating a return to politics.

Ms Mackey said she wanted to pre-empt speculation she was planning a return to parliament following the decision of current list MP Jacinda Ardern to seek the party’s candidacy in the Mt Albert by-election.

Ms Mackey said she had always kept Labour leader Andrew Little informed and previously told him she had no desire to return to Parliament if a list place came up on the Labour list.

“I have to say I really appreciated him getting in touch with me earlier this week, in light of David Shearer’s decision, and I confirmed that was still my position.

That was in December. Interesting that Little contacted her as soon as the by-election was confirmed.

Street has taken a lot longer but has now also indicated she won’t return. From Street on Facebook:

I am happy to confirm that I will not be taking up a place in Parliament as a List MP after the Mt Albert by-election. This will pave the way for the return of Raymond Huo to Parliament, something I fully support.

I have thought long and hard about this choice and have decided that I can be just as effective on issues dear to me outside Parliament as inside – perhaps even more so.

Besides which, I have discovered weekends.

The campaign for a law change to allow End of Life Choice has gained a powerful momentum with the petition in my name to Parliament’s Health Select Committee, where submissions are still being heard. I am heartened that it has become an issue with wide support throughout the community and across the entire political spectrum. I look forward to advancing that campaign further.

My very best wishes go to Jacinda Ardern and Raymond Huo.

So the way is now clear for Huo. I haven’t seen any indication of his intentions but presume he is interested in returning.

Labour on drilling – Yeah, Yeah-Nah, Nah

There has been many confusing messages from Labour on oil drilling, ranging from Yeah! to Nah! with a number of “yeah, nah” in between.

Another Labour statement on oil drilling yesterday, yet another vague position. David Parker has sort of clarified but also added to the confusion over Labour’s position on deep sea drilling. Especially confusion over Shane Jones’ promotion of drilling, seemingly supported by Andrew Little, which seems at odds with a number of colleagues.

Summaries of positions:

David Cunliffe – yeah, nah: “We are not opposed in principle”, “we’d get the standards in place and then we’d take them on a case by case basis“.

David Parker – yeah, nah: Labour supports Anadarko’s drilling, would not close down existing consents, “all future consents will require to be at world’s best practice if they are to get approval”.

Shane Jones – Yeah!: says Anadarko has a statutory right to be there, “we mustn’t assume that Anadarko doesn’t have the necessary expertise on hand”, “if oil is discovered we can use that to benefit New Zealand and create job opportunities for our young people in this industry”.

Andrew Little – yeah: Toured Taranaki in July talking to the oil industry with Jones who was reported saying “Offshore oil and gas drilling was an essential feature of domestic and export growth and businesses and enterprises enabling it would get full government support.

Moana Mackey – Nah!: Appears to back protesters and said the regulatory environment under which Anadarko was permitted to drill was “deliberately permissive” and the process had been a shambles.

Phil Twyford – Nah: “protesting at the Government’s reckless promotion of deepsea drilling”.

David Shearer – alternatives policy: Is Labour’s Energy and Resources spokesperson “renewables – the way of the future for a clean and clever country like ours”, clean energy versus fossil fuel industries is a “logical choice” and aims to make it policy.

Green Party coalition partner – NAH!

Details of these stated positions:

NZ Herald reports: Labour split on deep sea drilling:

Mr Parker said Labour did support Anadarko’s drilling.

“It’s legal and we’re not saying we would close down existing consents.”

“I’m not saying Anadarko’s doing world’s best practice because I simply don’t know. What I’m saying is we acknowledge that what they’re doing is legally in compliance with the law but we’re going to tighten the law to ensure that world’s best practice is met and that all future consents will require to be at world’s best practice if they are to get approval.

“The industry tells us they’re confident they can meet that standard. We’re not reversing current approvals or banning duly approved drilling into the future.”

He denied his party’s position had changed.

“Our position is that we’ve been saying that the existing consent processes for deep sea drilling in our view are opaque and lax and it’s unclear that New Zealand’s got the response capacity if something goes wrong.”

David Cunliffe told NZ Herald late last month that Labour’s position was that it would potentially support Anadarko’s drilling if it met best-practice and environmental and clean-up standards, but it didn’t yet.

Cunliffe was pushed by Duncan Garner to clarify his position on drilling and eventually confirmed it was Yeah, Nah for n0w – Cunliffe would stop deep sea drilling.

Garner: So you’d put a moratorium on all deep sea drilling until you were satisfied as Prime Minister.

Cunliffe: No, I haven’t said that Duncan, I haven’t said that…

Garner: You’ve effectively said it…

Cunliffe: I’ve said based on what we currently see in the public domain, I’m not convinced that those standards have yet been met.

Garner: So would you stop deep sea drilling as Prime Minister until you saw something that gave you confidence to let it go ahead?

Cunliffe: Yes we would need see material that gave us confidence on a case by case basis.

Garner: So you would stop it until you saw that?

Cunliffe: We are not opposed in principle, we are absolutely up for a mature discussion with the industry…

Garner: Are you opposed on current standards? And I think this is very important…

Cunliffe: No no, we are opposed to the current standards. The EEZ legislation under which this is happening is currently too weak. We have jettisoned a lot of the jurisprudence under the RMA and it needs to be tightened up.

Garner: Ok, so you’d stop it for now and wait til you could get better standards, local standards that you were satisfied with.

Cunliffe: We’d get the standards in place and then we’d take them on a case by case basis.

Labour’s Environment spokesperson Moana Mackey has contributed to Cunliffe’s anti-drilling position information. 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.

Stuff reports this week: Drilling could split Labour

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.

From that same stuff report Shane Jones seems to be at odds with Labour colleagues on drilling.

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.

David Shearer hasn’t made any media comments as spokesperson on Energy and Resources – http://www.labour.org.nz/people/david-shearer – 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

Phil Twyford protested against drilling last weekend. He tweeted:

I’m at Piha protesting at the Government’s reckless promotion of deepsea drilling risking Gulf of Mexico spill with Dads Army response capacity

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 – http://www.labour.org.nz/people/david-shearer – 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.

Cunliffe would stop deep sea drilling

Duncan Garner pushed David Cunliffe to state his position on deep sea drilling, and Cunliffe eventually effectively said he would halt deep sea drilling until there were “standards in place”.

Garner: Ok, so you’d stop it for now and wait til you could get better standards, local standards that you were satisfied with.

Cunliffe: We’d get the standards in place and then we’d take them on a case by case basis.

Greens would never support allowing drilling so Labour would have to get National’s co-operation.

It was obvious that Cunliffe was not well informed about current standards and practices in the industry. He seems to have rushed into an issue of the day without getting up to speed first. He seems to have relied in Labour MP Moana Mackey. She opposes oil exploration

Cunliffe was interviewed by Garner on RadioLive today about offshore drilling risks. Following that Garner interviewed David Robinson,  CEO of The New Zealand Petroleum Exploration and Production Association.

Cunliffe had earlier launched into an attack on drilling:

Likely drilling incident kept secret by Govt

DAVID CUNLIFFE | 21 NOV 2013

Documents obtained by Labour show the Government has kept secret the real risk of an incident including a major oil spill occurring at the depths of Anadarko’s proposed Kaikōura drilling site, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says.

“The Government has constantly told the public deep sea oil exploration will be safe.

“However, documents obtained under the Official Information Act show Environment Minister Amy Adams had international research 13 months ago showing there is a 70 per cent probability of a ‘reportable incident’ occurring within a year at the 1500m depth of the Kaikōura well.

“This research shows while existing shallow water sites such as Taranaki carry a risk of only around 10 per cent, the risk is dramatically increased at deeper levels.

“Amy Adams went to great lengths to keep this information from the public. In fact, she told Parliament there is a ‘very low risk’ of a large scale oil spill occurring.

“The Government needs to be honest about the risks of deep sea oil drilling, especially when the Kaikōura community and the wider public hold serious reservations about Anadarko’s plans.

“This isn’t the first time the Government has misled the public over this issue.

“Last year the Energy and Resources Minister told Kaikōura residents they would be consulted on exploration drilling but this year National rushed through legislation taking away that democratic right.

“In September Amy Adams said the impact of an oil spill would be ‘significant’ but it turns out she’d been told it would be ‘catastrophic’.

Following this there were counter claims that Cunliffe has grossly overstated the risks.

Labour ‘scaremongering’ over oil claims – Adams

Environment Minister Amy Adams and PEPANZ say David Cunliffe is misleading the public.

Garner asked Cunliffe about this: Oil drilling at Kaikoura depths has 70% probability of a ‘reportable incident’ within a year

Garner: This afternoon, big announcement, Labour said the Government had kept secret the real risk of a major oil spill at Anadarko’s proposed Kaikoura drilling site. Labour Leader David Cunliffe says he received the documents under the Official Information Act from Environment Minister Amy Adams which showed Adams had international research thirteen months ago that shows that there’d be a 70% probability of a “reportable incident” at the 1500m deep Kaikoura well within a year of it opening. How important is this information?

Has it really been kept secret? What is David Cunliffe saying? He joins me now. David, good afternoon to you. What do you think this information is telling you?

Cunliffe: …which is that based on US data and a very very reputable think tank there is a seven times greater chance of a reportable incident at 1500m deep than at the regular 300m deep that we’ve got in in-shore Taranaki so that’s a very very more risky and serious operation.

Secondly a 70% chance of something hoing seriously enough wrong inside a year that it has to be reported by ther company. Now the sort of incidents that that covers, it’s not just dropping a few tacks off you (?) off the rig platform into the sea, it’s stuff like significant injury or death, rig collision, significant pollution or spillage.

It’s not all well-head blow, that’s the absolute worst end of the spectrum, the chances of that are much lower, but I would have thought that most New Zealanders would say that a 70% chance in a year is pretty significant odds and the public debate deserves to be informed.

Now I guess the other key point you raised is we had to prise this information out of the Minister through multiple OIA requests, I’ll give some credit to Moana Mackey who’s the spokesperson in her team, we had to go to the Ombudsman to get it, we had to chisel it out of them, and it’s finally in the public domain.

This is information the Government should have pro-actively released so that the public could have a mature and sensible debate.

3 News reported:

The New Zealand Petroleum Exploration and Production Association (PEPANZ) has also hit back at Mr Cunliffe’s assertions, saying his claims are “riddled” with inaccuracies.

“Labour claims they have ‘unearthed’ secret documents hidden by the Government, the truth is you can find the report online,” CEO David Robinson says.

“Taking information out of context or using images without the commentary and research it was published with is misleading and does not contribute to a balanced conversation.”

The 70 percent figure refers to more than just an oil spill, Mr Robinson says, and shouldn’t be taken out of context.

“In fact it is saying the more people and machinery you use, the more chance there is of a cut finger, injury, fire or any other incident that you would see on a construction site anywhere.”

PEPANZ has also taken issue with Mr Cunliffe’s references to a drilling off Kaikoura, saying the only thing planned at the moment is a seismic survey.

Back to RadioLive:

Garner: The information has been out there though, it may not have been pro-actively out there but David Robinson who’ll join us shortly, the CEO of PEPANZ, he sent out a number of links to this information which has been on the Internet this morning, it’s all out there and he’s got it in his press release today. This information’s available on the Internet.

Cunliffe: Some of it has been available on the website of the think tank that did it, as I say it’s US data, but the Minister redacted it from the OIA releases, she was not prepared to draw attention to it, and in the material that we released, which will be available on our website so that New Zealanders can see for themselves, a whole lot of other data…

Garner: Do you accept that this information has been publicly available for some time though?

Cunliffe: it was publicly available in the US but mysteriously was withdrawn from the website of the think tank concerned, now I don’t know why but it’s not just something that you can easily dial up and download.

Garner: Well, the thing is that some of these reports are actually, with all due respect David, are online. You don’t have to be in America,  Saudi Arabia, Africa, Ireland…

Cunliffe: That is true, but as I said, they have been redacted from the information that the Minister had previously released under the OIA showing the Government is very sensitive about it, and the Government can’t have it both ways, it’s defence now is “hey, this stuff is online out of the US”, then why wouldn’t the Government allow it to be freely debated in New Zealand?

Garner: I think you make a fair point on that as well, you’ve packaged it up and said why didn’t the Government put this in Parliament in the information a year ago.

Cunliffe: Along with a whole lot of other stuff which they’ve held back.

That sounds to me like a a fair point too. As much information as possible should be in the public domain, readily available.

Cunliffe: This is just one data point, let me give you some background here, Labour is not saying that we are in principle opposed to all oil exploration, not even deep sea oil exploration as a matter of principle, we’re prepared to have a mature discussion with the industry about how that could safely be done, but the bottom lines are pretty clear.

Number one you’ve gotta have a best practice set of environment standards up front in place and agreed by the industry.

Number two you’ve gotta be able to clean up a spill or a blow if it occurs, currently I’m not convinced that the capacity exists, certainly not in the Government, they’ve only got three rubber duckies, that wouldn’t do anything if there was a well blow.

Garner: That’s not right though, the three rubber duckies lines and it’s well used by a number of people, but the fact is that there are a number of other boats that are in Taranaki that are available on top of those three, that’s the truth.

Cunliffe: If there was a deep water blow, then it would require a relief well to help cap the well…

Garner: It would take two weeks…

Cunliffe: No, it would take six to eight weeks, and it would need to come from somewhere like Singapore or Perth at the closest…

Garner: What’s the truth here, Simon Bridges and the industry says it would take two weeks to even begin to start to clean up a spill, you say six to eight, who’s right, the Minister and the industry, or you?

Cunliffe: Six to eight is my advice to get a rig down from Singapore or Perth, and to get it drilling and to do a replacement well cap. Now I mean Dave Robinson may have new information on that, that’s the advice I’ve received, and when you think about it, it’s assuming that a relief well is available at the moment that a blowout happens in New Zealand.

Garner: Under Labour policy you would want a relief well sitting beside the main well, before you went ahead and said yes, because to me it sounds like you’re trying to have it both ways David, you’re trying to say yes we’re ok with oil drilling, but not currently in it’s current form, we’d want a relief drill somewhere.

Cunliffe: I’m saying Duncan that we do not take a position which is opposed in principle to all exploration, right. We want to have, as the industry does I believe, a mature fact based discussion about how we get the best possible protections for New Zealanders and out natural environment. That has got to include a number of things, the best practice standards in place up front, a clean up capacity, unlimited liability cover, and a decent return to the taxpayer.

Garner: So you’d put a moratorium on all deep sea drilling until you were satisfied as Prime Minister.

Cunliffe: No, I haven’t said that Duncan, I haven’t said that…

Garner: You’ve effectively said it…

Cunliffe: I’ve said based on what we currently see in the public domain, I’m not convinced that those standards have yet been met.

Garner: So would you stop deep sea drilling as Prime Minister until you saw something that gave you confidence to let it go ahead?

Cunliffe: Yes we would need see material that gave us confidence on a case by case basis.

Garner: So you would stop it until you saw that?

Cunliffe: We are not opposed in principle, we are absolutely up for a mature discussion with the industry…

Garner: Are you opposed on current standards? And I think this is very important…

Cunliffe: No no, we are opposed to the current standards. The EEZ legislation under which this is happening is currently too weak. We have jettisoned a lot of the jurisprudence under the RMA and it needs to be tightened up.

Garner: Ok, so you’d stop it for now and wait til you could get better standards, local standards that you were satisfied with.

Cunliffe: We’d get the standards in place and then we’d take them on a case by case basis.

Robinson followed:

Garner: Listening all that David Robinson who is the CEO of PEPANZ, that’s the body that represents of course the drillers and the oil industry.

Good afternoon. What did you make of that?

Robinson: Well look I think the only secret today was what Labour were going to talk about, because this report’s been on the Internet since 2011, and certainly the industry has moved on a long way since then.

Garner: Its interesting, because he says that, yeah he accepted that actually when we put it to him, that the report has been around, but the Government itself deleted it from any of it’s responses, which looks a bit tricky.

Robinson: Well look, I don’t know what the Government’s put in or out, but certainly there’s any amount of information that people can find on the Internet, and I guess one of the things that we’ve got to do as an industry is make sure we do a better job of telling what we do and how we’re doing it, and you know we’re absolutely committed to doing that and being very open and transparent about what we’re doing.

Garner: Do you think you can do better in that instance David, do you think you could say to people “hey look there are these reports, you need to see them, here they are”? Because people, I mean David Cunliffe’s right in a sense, the average Kiwi joker’s not going to jump on and try and search for all these different reports, they need to be there for them don’t they.

Robinson: Yeah, look, they do, and I think just listening to Mr Cunliffe now there’s clearly a lot of information we’ve got to share with him to make sure he does have the confidence we have in the industry. And I think the other thing is it’s very very hard to go on the Internet and find out about any topic, there’s so much information you have to trawl through.

What we have to do I think in New Zealand is rely on the regulators and the people who are responsible for governing the industry. And if you look at the legislation that’s been put through parliament in the last two years, they’ve completely re-written the rule book for the New Zealand industry, so we’re now operating to some of the world’s best legislation, and we’re operating to the highest standards here.

Garner: What do you make of Cunliffe’s position though when he says they’re not against, Labour’s not, see I find this very, this is classic of Cunliffe when he says “We’re not against deep sea drilling, ok, but we sort of are at the moment because of the standards and the standards need to get better and you need to relief drill.

I mean is it possible to have a relief drill beside the current drill so there’s not an oil spilling? I mean, has Cunliffe got a point or not?

Robinson: Well not really, I mean there’s no jurisdiction around the world that requires a relief rig to be on standby to drill a relief well. Under absolute extreme circumstances that may be required but the odds on that in New Zealand are just, you know, incredibly unlikely.

Garner: But that’s what Cunliffe is saying though isn’t it, he said to me a relief drill or well or whatever these things are is six to eight weeks away. Is he right or wrong?

Robinson: Well I think listening to the conversation there was certainly some confusion between a relief rig and capping technology, and the two are very different and you know, the way that things are designed today, all these wells are designed to be capped and have capping technology and that’s all been modularised and all geared up to be flown anywhere in the world.

So you know, if the absolute worst case scenario was to happen in New Zealand we’d be ready to respond in a very very short space of time.

Garner: Two weeks? Two weeks?

Robinson: Two weeks. But see oil spills are a very serious matter, and I can understand Kiwis being uncertain about it, and again that comes back on us to make sure we provide the information to give people that confidence.

Garner: Have you have had David Cunliffe up in your office for a decent hour or two briefing?

Robinson: I haven’t had opportunity to catch up with Mr Cunliffe, but I’m certainly hoping he’ll make time to see me and so that I can give him the good oil on the industry and perhaps put his mind at rest.

Garner: I might text you his number after this and get the two of you together for some sort of lunch before Christmas, because that might be the way to resolve this I reckon.

Robinson: That would be very kind of you if you would.

Garner: Good on you David, I appreciate your time.

So Cunliffe comes out today and has a go at the industry, and he hasn’t yet sat down with the industry and been briefed.

You see, I’ve got a problem with that. If I was running to become the Prime Minister I actually would want to go and sit down with Anadarko and these other guys from PEPANZ and to say “ok, give me everything I need to know, this is what I want to know, I want ten hours with you, I want two hours with you, I want every document possible, give me everything so I can make my own mind up about this”.

Because Cunliffe said it would take six to eight weeks to start to clean up a spill, I said two, he said “well I don’t have that information”. It would take two weeks. All the industry says that. There is no relief rig anywhere in the world on site, that wouldn’t happen as well. Is that what Cunliffe is saying? He wants a relief rig next to the drilling rig. I tell you what, it doesn’t happen anywhere in the world.

I think David Cunliffe needs to sit down with David Robinson, a couple of Davids in the same room, maybe bring in Anadarko and see if we can crunch out some kind of resolution because if Cunliffe is going to be the next Prime Minister making these big decisions I reckon a bit of information won’t hurt anyone.

It seems from this that the industry hasn’t done a good enough job at providing information, it appears that Government hasn’t been forthcoming enough with information, and Cunliffe has launched into this issue without being well enough informed.

Cunliffe’s information seems out of date and insufficient. He has to take responsibility for coming off half cocked. He seems to have relied on Labour MP Moana Mackey to inform him, she is known to oppose drilling so has done her leader a disservice on this, but ultimately it’s up to Cunliffe to be properly briefed. Perhaps he should have talked to Shane Jones about it as well, Jones supports oil and gas exploration so may have provided some balance.

And certainly Cunliffe should be communicating with the industry and not just rushing in to the anti-Government protest of the day as appears to have happened here.

Cunliffe has ended up taking a position on deep sea drilling, after being pushed on it by Garner. He has effectively said he would halt deep sea drilling. It’s not clear if it would also apply to other drilling.

Garner: So you would stop it until you saw that?

Cunliffe: We are not opposed in principle, we are absolutely up for a mature discussion with the industry…

Garner: Are you opposed on current standards? And I think this is very important…

Cunliffe: No no, we are opposed to the current standards. The EEZ legislation under which this is happening is currently too weak. We have jettisoned a lot of the jurisprudence under the RMA and it needs to be tightened up.

Garner: Ok, so you’d stop it for now and wait til you could get better standards, local standards that you were satisfied with.

Cunliffe: We’d get the standards in place and then we’d take them on a case by case basis.

So Cunliffe would halt the exploration and drilling until he gets “the standards in place” – that presumably means legislation which at the very least would require significant time.

And it would require the support of another major party. The Greens would never support anything that enables drilling. It would  National would back Labour  to reinstate exploration.

Chauvel swipes at Shearer, and calls for Goff and Mallard to go?

In his valedictory statement in Parliament today Charles Chauvel has been critical of David Shearer’s shadow cabinet, and appears to have called for Phil Goff and Trevor Mallard to step down.

Sir, I’ve been a member of ther Labour Party since 1985. In my view it remains the greatest force for meaningful social change in this country. It continues to offer energy, ideas and talent from it’s ranks that would adorn any cabinet.

I want to express publicly now, two hopes that I’ve confided to David Shearer in private.

First, I sincerely wish that he will be Prime Minister in a Labour led government at the end of next year. I regret that I won’t be his Attorney General, and I appreciate a statement that he share’s that regret.

Secondly, it’s unproductive to keep trying to locate and exclude the supposed enemy within.

Instead in order to avoid history repeating, it’s time for an honest, open and overdue assessment of why the 2011 campoaign produced Labour’s worst ever electoral result.

Those responsible for it should make dignified exits, and all the undoubted talent and diversity of the caucus should be included in the shadow cabinet.

To put it in another way, in Gough Whitlam’s immortal words, the party must have both it’s wings to fly.

It’s obvious Chauvel is talking about the deep division between what are seen as the David Shearer supporters camp (or ABC) and the David Cunliffe camp.

The recent reshuffle did not repair the rift. There have been pointed claims that Shearer rewarded those who backed  him in the leadership vote earlier this month, and punished those who did not vote for him plus David Cunliffe who pledged to vote for Shearer but seems to be still in the naughty corner after the overblown “coup” attempt last lear.

Chauvel does not think Shearer’s new lineup adequately addresses the division.

And Chauvel also called fore “dignified exits” of those resonsible for the poor election result (they are at least partly responsible for some of the division since).

IrishBill names names at The Standard:

I’m pleased he called for Phil and Trevor to go (10’50″) it’s about time someone from caucus came out and said that.

That’s just further identification of Goff and Mallard as major causes of disatisfaction and division in the party.

Anne:

I noted Moana Mackey and Lianne Dalziel appeared not too far from tears. Two equally fine and intelligent MPs who paid a price for supporting David Cunliffe.

I don’t know if it was coincidental or not that Dalziel and Mackey were in shot throughout his speech. Cunliffe was immediately to his left.

Chauvel valedictory

hush minx:

A fine and thoughtful speech. I noted there were some less than happy looks on the faces of the front bench at the end. He has set them a challenge that they have failed so far. Now is the time for them to step up, but it’s come at the cost of a good mp who understood the best of what labor can be.

The chances of Shearer, Goff or Mallard taken much notice of this let alone action is very slim, if past actions are any indication of their refusal to accept responsibility and repair the problems.

Video link: Valedictory – Charles Chauvel – 27th February, 2013

Update: See also The Chauvel valedictory at Kiwiblog and on Charles’ valedictory at The Standard