'Historic moment' as New Zealand bans new offshore oil and gas exploration

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"As the industry itself admits, there is good potential for more to be found".

Opposition energy spokesman Jonathan Young said gas helped ensure New Zealand's electricity supply and when existing reserves ran out in 10 years it would be forced to import emissions-heavy alternatives such as coal.

"The oil and gas industry creates thousands of jobs, contributes $2.5 billion to the New Zealand economy and $500 million to the government in royalties each year", leader David Seymour said.

"Nobody's going to be losing their jobs overnight but in terms of the long-term outlook for those industries. people are going "my career doesn't actually have a future", he told Radio New Zealand. "We can establish a just transition for workers and communities affected by the end of the oil and gas industry", says Oil Free Wellington spokesperson James Barber.

The country's upstream petroleum association said it was "very disappointed in the government's decision to halt offshore Block Offers", adding that it was "likely to affect New Zealand's energy security and worldwide reputation".

Bishop Justin continued, "Today's announcement shows the government is listening".

The government said there were now 31 oil and gas exploration permits, with 22 of them offshore.

"Thousands of households in Taranaki depend on the oil and gas industry and while we all want to see a more sustainable future for New Zealand we had expected to be having a comprehensive conversation about a planned and staged transition", he said.

The ban will not affect existing licenses or onshore exploration, meaning the industry will continue unabated for years to come.

Regional Development Minister Shane Jones said New Zealand First's support for the plan was based on protecting existing permit holders with rights to explore as far out as 2046, and on any measures not affecting existing jobs in Taranaki.

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Pacific Island neighbours who are facing the brunt of climate change would now know that New Zealand "had their back", Shaw said.

"I mean New Zealand has the fourth biggest exclusive economic zone on the planet", he said.

"But nonetheless this is still a very significant decision and I think it will be globally significant".

We strongly agree that climate change is a major issue and we need to reduce net emissions, but this decision will not achieve that.

Last month, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern made headlines when she personally accepted a Greenpeace petition signed by 50,000 New Zealanders.

Her government, elected past year, has ambitious goals of generating all power in New Zealand from renewable sources by 2035 and becoming carbon neutral by 2050.

A week later more than 200 protesters also blocked entrance to the New Zealand Petroleum Conference, during which the government held off on announcing any new permits and signalled it wanted to move away from fossil fuels.

Following the Amazon Warrior's arrival, over 80 coastal hapū declared their unanimous rejection of oil exploration, culminating in a historic agreement by the National Iwi Chairpersons Forum last December to oppose all seismic testing and oil exploration in the waters of New Zealand.

Unfortunately, we have not seen any consultation with the business community in Taranaki, which is a key stakeholder in this decision.

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