I’m very pleased with the ongoing positive turnouts at my Constituent clinics in Opunake this year, and last week we had a big crowd to hear from special guest, List MP Brett Hudson.
Brett is National’s Police spokesperson and was interested in local feedback on crime and firearms legislation. He told the meeting the Government has unduly focused responsibility and regulation on law-abiding gun owners and hasn’t done enough to address access to guns by gangs and those involved in criminal activity. Brett has released 13 changes National wants to see in the second tranche of gun reforms before considering our support. Go to https://www.national.org.nz/press to find out more.
I also took the opportunity to update people on matters relating to my portfolio of Energy and Resources. New Zealand is in an alarming situation where electricity generation using natural gas is declining, while generation using coal is increasing.
The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) released their quarterly energy report, which shows a 19 per cent reduction in electricity produced by natural gas, but a whopping 62 per cent increase in electricity produced by coal over the last year.
This makes New Zealand the only country in the world that is transitioning out of gas and into coal.
MBIE advised the Minister of Energy on 10 April 2018 that gas reserves were at the lowest reserve to production level since 2003 and no new discoveries had been made since 2005.
Two days later, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced a ban on future exploration permits.
New Zealand is now paying the price for this reckless, ideological decision as our dependence on coal has actually increased.
The Government refused to consult with the sector on the oil and gas ban, rejected advice from officials, and didn’t request any analysis from the Ministry for the Environment or the Treasury.
National believes it is important to have a plan to reduce emissions. However, it makes sense to use natural gas as part of the energy mix as we transition to a lower emissions economy. We believe in science-based, practical solutions rather than costly and ineffective virtue-signalling.
New Plymouth MP
National Party Spokesperson for: Energy and Resources
National Party Spokesperson for: Regional Economic Development (NI)