Thursday, March 07, 2013

Winning the lottery is not a plan

If I told you that my "plan" to secure my economic future was to win the lottery, you'd rightly laugh at me. But that's basically the government's "plan" for economic development on the East Coast:

A new report says there is a small chance that oil extraction on the East Coast of the North Island could add $18 billion to the national economy.

The East Coast Oil & Gas Development Study was carried out by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment to assess the potential benefits, impacts and risks of petroleum development.

The report says large scale developement of a high volume oil find on the East Coast could add $18 billion to New Zealand's GDP and create 2347 jobs.

But as Radio New Zealand notes, there is only a 1% chance of such a large find, and the most likely scenario is that there will be no development even if oil is found. Which makes this entire "plan" a bit of a bust. And yet the government is touting it as a real economic opportunity, rather than a driller's fantasy.

People on the East Coast need real jobs, not fantasies. But instead of working on that, National seems to be wasting all of its time daydreaming of a windfall. And remember, we're paying the Minister of Economic Development quarter of a million a year for this!