Concerns ahead of major Govt petrol conference


The government-sponsored 2016 New Zealand Petroleum Conference, which begins in Auckland tomorrow, has been met with opposition by the Green Party and Greenpeace.

The conference, which runs from March 20-22 at the Sky City Convention Centre, will cover topics of geoscience, technology and engineering, economics, community and regulatory streams.

The Government's Block Offer 2016 – the exclusive tender for exploration permits – will also launch at the conference.

But Green Party energy and resources spokesperson Gareth Hughes says New Zealand tech companies aren't "getting the Government support they deserve".

"We should be developing our clean technology expertise and exporting it to the world, not subsidising foreign companies to bring last century's technology her and drill for polluting fossil fuels," he says.

"Oil and gas is obviously a failed strategy when globally we saw US$100 billion [NZ$147 billion] more invested in clean energy than in fossil fuels last year, according to Bloomberg. We are going in the wrong direction," says Mr Hughes.

He says New Zealand made a commitment to reduce climate pollution last year at Paris, but the Government is doing the opposite by encouraging more fossil fuel exploration.

Greenpeace has planned a protest outside the convention centre from 6:30am.

The organisation says it will be a peaceful demonstration in support of "the global fight to quit oil" and deep sea oil drilling.