Why are we waiting?

Why are we waiting?

The headline says it all really.

National Party Energy & Resources spokesperson Barbara Kuriger cannot understand why the energy industry, and the country, is still waiting for the Government’s Just Transition plan.

Almost three years ago, on May 25, 2018, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was in Taranaki telling energy and local government leaders about the Government’s establishment of the Just Transition unit, within the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE).

Its sole job — to transition New Zealand to a low emissions economy. It’s focus — to work with partners to develop plans to manage the transition.

At the time the PM said: “We want to do this planning together and a key part of the new unit’s role is to work with communities to find the best ways the Government can support this process. We are committed to having personnel on the ground in Taranaki to work directly in the community.”

What I want to know is Where is the plan?

We need one that takes us forward for at least the next 10 years. Yet since the formation of this unit and cancellation of any future oil and gas exploration permits that same year, we are still waiting. My question is why?

As our sources of non-renewable energy dry up, without the renewable energy sources to take their place, what’s the game plan to avoid the even greater use of coal, astronomical power prices already happening and avoid the threat of blackouts as winter looms.   

At the time of her 2018 announcement, the Prime Minister said, ‘We are playing our part in a great future for our regions, New Zealand and the planet’. Well that’s fabulous, but we need to see the script!