11 Feb 2012

Less exploration than under Labour - Heatley

5:52 pm on 11 February 2012

Energy and Resources Minister Phil Heatley says the Government is considering opening up less land for oil and gas exploration than under the previous Labour government.

Twenty-five new blocks are this year being tendered for exploration.

The Green Party says this ignores the risks of an oil spill from deep sea drilling.

But Mr Heatley says the Labour Government, which the Greens supported, opened up 600,000 square km for exploration, compared with 40,000 square km opened up by the current Government.

If oil or gas is found, Mr Heatley says any bid to exploit it will be subject to Resource Management processes.