Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Is the Minister of Energy a muppet?

Last week Minister of Energy Simon Bridges opened up vast areas of New Zealand for oil exploration. But it came with a nasty surprise: the area includes our biggest forest park:

3 News can reveal the Government is opening up the Department of Conservation's (DOC) biggest forest park for oil and gas exploration.

That came as news even to the minister who signed it off, with Simon Bridges admitting today he had never heard of the park.

Victoria Forest Park is 200,000 hectares - DOC's biggest forest park, and is described by the department as "pristine" and "untouched".

For the Minister to approve this without even knowing it raises serious questions about his competence and that of his Ministry. Was he advised about it? If so, and he ignored it, then he's a total muppet. OTOH, if he wasn't, it suggests serious problems with MoBIE's economic development unit, which the Minister is ultimately responsible for. And either way, its crystal clear that National has no commitment whatsoever to conservation or our environment; if it can be bulldozed for profit, they'll sign off on it.