On 12 April Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced that Labour, in agreement with its coalition partners New Zealand First and the Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand is not going to issue any more oil and gas permits.
I am concerned that this is just political machinations at work and that just like the National Party with so many issues, not enough thought has been given to how such an announcement will impact on New Zealand. The Government can say that yes it has delivered on its promises and that means it is getting things done – just like National who I notice parroted every announcement former Prime Ministers John Key or Bill English or one of the Ministers made.
Yes, from an environmental stand point this is good news – a good start at least. But let us get real here. I have a number of questions from pure transport perspectives alone, never mind getting into the potential effects on social policy, the energy sector and so forth. Such as:
What thought has been given to how and where non electric vehicles are going to get their fuel from, other than expensive fuel imports from overseas?
What thought has been given to the fact that New Zealanders are grimly hanging onto their Toyota Corolla’s, Surfs and so forth because newer, cleaner vehicles are too expensive?
Even hybrid’s need to come down in cost before they have a chance of becoming plentiful.
People do not seem all that enthused by the advent of plug on points to charge their cars. And the simple idea of having to plug a car in to charge at some point is likely to turn many off from wanting an electric car. All of you who are applauding today’s announcement understand this don’t you?
Will some sort of road/transport/government working group be established to look at biofuels and alternative sources and the issues that New Zealand may confront if it finds a sustainable source?
The Green Party and Labour surely understand that one is unlikely to ever quite get rid of petroleum and diesel. New Zealand, like most western countries is probably not going to fully wean itself off either and that service stations will still be around for the foreseeable future at least.
I am sorry, but unless you can address these questions and others that will arise, I am NOT on board. This is basic planning for New Zealand’s future. Grand sweeping announcements like this look great, but are completely meaningless unless backed up by solid policy and implementation.
Common sense really.