Labour U-turns over dolphin sanctuary drilling

Labour leader David Cunliffe has had to perform a U-turn after this morning announcing Labour was against oil exploration in the Maui's dolphin mammal sanctuary, when it actually approves.

National has jumped on the gaffe, saying Labour is hypocritical because it allowed 13 wells to be drilled in the area.

The Government has opened up 3000 square kilometres of a marine mammal sanctuary for oil exploration on the North Island's west coast – home to the Maui's dolphin. The Green Party obtained documents revealing that last week.

This morning Labour came out opposed, aligning itself with the Greens.

"I don't see any need for the exploration permits to overlap the sanctuary, so yes, I'm opposed to that," said Mr Cunliffe.

But this afternoon saw a U-turn from Labour, because the last Labour Government approved 13 wells to be drilled in the area.

The Greens continued their criticism of the Government today.

"His legacy to this country will be to drive the Maui's dolphin toward extinction," said Green Party co-leader Dr Russel Norman.

However John Key dismissed the complaints as "a load of mumbo jumbo".

"He wants to close down Taranaki, the thousands of jobs that are supported there, and what is incredible is that David Cunliffe […] wants to do that as well," said Mr Key.

But it turns out Mr Cunliffe is open to exploration in the dolphins' home if "done responsibly".

3 News

source: newshub archive