3 Sep 2023

ACT launches energy proposal, plans to remove Te Mana o te Wai

3:04 pm on 3 September 2023
ACT leader David Seymour

ACT Leader David Seymour. Photo: RNZ / Samantha Gee

The ACT party says removing tangata whenua from freshwater management would speed up the consent process, and make it cheaper for ratepayers.

The party announced its energy policy today in Auckland, and aims to overturn the ban on oil and gas exploration, set up rules to help capture carbon and make it easier to get permission for offshore wind projects.

The policy would also dump the Lake Onslow project and remove Te Mana o te Wai, which prioritises the health of freshwater, from resource consenting.

ACT Leader David Seymour said the removal of Te Mana o te Wai would make the process simpler by getting rid of unclear spiritual ideas.

"We do not believe that Te Mana o te Wai improves the environment," he said.

"All people can be consulted on the environment, Te Mana o te Wai is frankly a political rather than a pragmatic approach to consenting."

Seymour said the policy aimed to get electricity prices under control and provide the sector with better regulations and investment.

He said the plan was to bring affordable energy alongside a sustainable environment.

Labour Party leader Chris Hipkins believes New Zealand will be worse off under ACT's energy policy.

He said the plans were counter-productive.

"At the end of the day, we've still got to pay to reduce emissions somewhere. If they want to bring back oil and gas exploration and if they want to wind back everything we have been doing, New Zealanders one way or the other are going to pay for that."

Hipkins said exporters depended on the country's clean-green brand and ACT's policies would not help the economy nor New Zealanders.

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