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Congratulations to all involved for the official launch of Ara Ake, the new energy development centre based here in Taranaki. It is positive to see progress with energy advancement in our country while recognising the experience and capacity of Taranaki companies.

If a National led government was formed, I would be supportive of the continued role the Ara Ake can play in our future. Working with the current energy sector would also be a priority to assist them to transition to a lower emissions future. Looking at such technologies as carbon capture, utilisation and storage needs to be part of its brief going forward, alongside other potential sources of extra renewable energy.

It is important to recognise, support and build on the capability Taranaki has to offer the country.

As such, the Tui Field is the first offshore field to undergo decommissioning and offers an opportunity for Taranaki engineering and service industries.  Having significant contracts for this work awarded to Taranaki firms would not only support our local economy, but would also develop an important part of our regional capability. This would enable the engineering sector in Taranaki to build on their specialisation and expertise and compete for similar projects throughout the Asia/Pacific region.

However, the first two contracts were awarded to offshore companies. The Government did not offer those contracts in an open bid process to get the best technical advice.  I suggest that capability for both these areas of work exist in Taranaki, and Taranaki companies should at least be given the opportunity to bid for them.

For decades, our local firms have built and serviced the offshore industry. These service companies also have experience and understanding of the challenging seascape that comes from the southern oceans, something completely different from oceans of northern Europe.

Taranaki people and companies have international experience and linkages, which offer not only local knowledge, but world’s best practice in their engineering, safety and solution-finding capability.

We need a company from Taranaki to oversee the project. Let them bring in offshore expertise, if necessary, rather than the other way around.

Taranaki has a great skill base and a great future ahead of it as the energy centre of the country. Let’s bring what we already have, forward into the future together.

 

Jonathan Young
MP for New Plymouth
National Party Spokesperson: Energy & Resources
National Party Spokesperson: Arts, Culture & Heritage

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