30 Apr 2013

Tougher rules needed on oil and gas exploration: Labour

9:04 am on 30 April 2013

Labour says the laws governing oil and gas exploration won't be enough to protect the environment from a potential oil spill.

The Government is to offer large areas both on and offshore New Zealand covering more than 200-thousand square kilometres for oil and gas exploration.

Labour's energy spokesperson Moana Mackey said the dangers of the exploratory work haven't been addressed, and should be halted until it can be done safely.

She said the Government should not be relying on royalties from oil and gas exploration to boost the economy and tougher regulation is needed.

Greenpeace campaigner Steve Abel told Morning Report that oil companies have patchy safety records.

He said New Zealand is entering a different realm of risk now that the exploration is more than 1000 metres undersea.