19 Mar 2018

Govt considers oil and gas exploration permits

7:24 pm on 19 March 2018

The government is currently considering block offers for oil and gas exploration permits for this year.

Offshore natural gas, oil

Photo: 123RF

One option could be that none at all are offered.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern personally accepted a Greenpeace petition signed by 45,000 people wanting an end to oil exploration on Parliament's forecourt today.

The original plan was for Energy Minister Megan Woods to accept the petition.

Jacinda Ardern said she she did it herself in recognition of the effort so many people took to put their name on the petition, on the way to a state luncheon with the visiting Indonesian President Joko Widodo.

Later she told reporters comments she made at the event related to oil and gas exploration permits.

"The point I made out on the forecourt today is that we are in a process of actively considering, as every government does at this time of year, how we will deal with future block offers, that's the decision we have to make ... every government comes to that point."

Ms Ardern said environmental and economic considerations would be taken into account.

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