Question to the minister of Finance: "What steps, if any, is he taking to reduce New Zealand’s economic vulnerability that stems from dependence on oil?"

Rimu's picture

Incase you needed proof that National doesn't get it, can't get it and will never get it. Attached is the research article from NZTA that Gareth Hughes cites. It's not bad.

nzta_oil_price_rises.pdf702.42 KB

Documents released under the Official Information Act reveal Nat

2011 11 04
Alan Preston here for Save Our Rail Northland and other communities around New Zealand working for sustainable transport solutions appropriate to the post peak oil age ( - which we have all been living in since 2006 ( International Energy Agency, May 2011 ).

( I posted the full version of this complete with hyperlinks but they've been removed,despite using the full HTML version option - send me an e-mail for the full version )

The National Government of New Zealand is currently pursuing its 'Roads of 'National' Significance and the KiwiRail Turnaround plan - which includes the 'rationalisation' of 5 regional railway lines. thereby increasing New Zealand's vulnerability, decreasing our resilience and contravening our obligations to reduce our greenhouse-gas emissions in accordance with the Kyoto Protocol.

We have recently succeeded in using the Official Information Act to secure the release of the 2009 Ministerial Briefing on Oil Prices and Transport Sector Resilience
and the The Bolland Report which was commissioned in April 2010 by the Ministry of Transport to provide independent advice on the economic costs and benifits of rail freight.
The latter document found significant economic benefits for rail over road for freight transport and the former warns of our vulnerability caused by our dependence on fossil fuels and lack of alternative sources of energy and oil non-dependent infrastructure.
These are only two of many documents we have that substantiate and validate the case for an urgent review of the National-led government's approach to the provision of transport infrastructure, in light of the (usually ultra-conservative ) International Energy Agency's assertion that the fossil-fuel energy paradigm has changed, and that 'the age of cheap oil is over'.
What is extremely concerning is that the Official Information Act was used to deny acccess to information that should have been made available to the public as part of a consultation process to design strategies that will ensure New Zealanders are able to respond appropriately to continue functioning as a society and as an economy in this new energy future.

In early 2011 the International Energy Agency, of which New Zealand is one of 28 sponsor nations, completed a study of 800 of the world's oil fields and concluded that the peak in 'conventional' oil actually occurred in 2006 and that 'unconventional' energy from gas and tar-sands would never make up the shortfall in production as demand from India and China increases.
In interviews with media ( Radio NZ National 25th May 2011) ,Chief Economist from the IEA , Fatih Birol concluded that 'the age of cheap oil is over' and that governments need to urgently reduce their vulnerability to ever-increasingly expensive oil prices and to oil shocks.

The Acting Minister of Energy, Hekia Parata , by her reply to our enquiry ( 21st of June 2011 as to how the National-led Government was going to respond to the International Energy Agency's recent assertions, only repeated their belief that" new fields and unconventional sources will ensure that demand continues to be met. "
thereby showing that she was oblivious to what the IEA had said, that: 'unconventional' energy from gas and tar-sands would never make up the shortfall in production as demand from India and China increases' - and that to maintain the status quo , the world will need another 4 Saudi Arabias before 2030. 'A very tall order' ( Fatih Birol ).

What has also been of great concern to New Zealanders involved in advocating for more appropriate energy, transport and climate change responses is that our media organisations and elected representatives seem to be collectively extremely reluctant to deal with these issues.

We trust that at this pre-election juncture , you will understand the gravity of this issue and give it the exposure it deserves.

Alan Preston
Save Our Rail Northland.


or contact Alan Preston in Mangawhai, Northland

Tel: +64 9 4315389
e-mail @
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