A wel­come re­prieve

Taranaki Daily News - - Comment & Opinion -

Our Mayor, Neil Holdom, is re­ported in last week’s pa­per as say­ing that the an­nounce­ment by Jacinda Ardern of a halt to the fur­ther ex­plo­ration for oil and gas is a ‘‘kick ion the guts for the re­gion’’.

For a start, she is not an­nounc­ing ter­mi­na­tion of the ex­trac­tive in­dus­try it­self, only not look­ing for more! We need what we have found to carry us through un­til we can func­tion with­out such an ab­ject de­pen­dence on fos­sil fu­els.

It is high time we made the first se­ri­ous moves in the right di­rec­tion, and di­verted the sci­en­tific, en­gi­neer­ing and fi­nan­cial re­sources into de­vel­op­ing the al­ter­na­tives - sun, wind and wa­ter, all of which we have in abun­dance here in the ‘Land of the Long White Cloud’.

Our oil and gas re­serve will come to no harm where it is, safely in the ground and avail­able when it is re­ally needed.

We need to leave some­thing for our chil­dren and their de­scen­dants and we do not have to risk our pre­cious unique eco­log­i­cal re­source un­nec­es­sar­ily. Bear in mind that the pre­vi­ous Na­tional gov­ern­ment seemed hell bent on drilling in the Tas­man! Re­mem­ber what hap­pened in the Gulf of Mex­ico.

Sooner or later that could and al­most cer­tainly will hap­pen here. Here we have a wel­come re­prieve!

So this is a log­i­cal, sen­si­ble and re­al­is­tic first step in the right di­rec­tion. ‘The hand on the tiller’ turn­ing the ship around and putting it back on the right course.

Con­grat­u­la­tions, Jacinda, for such a coura­geous and sen­si­ble move! (Abridged)

Fridtjof Han­son

New Ply­mouth

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