Nick Smith - Nelson MP, Minister National Government

nick4nelson@parliament.govt.nz

Raroa refit

29/11/2013

Raroa refit confirms regional benefit of oil and gas exploration. The Raroa’s planned upgrade and maintenance work was completed over three weeks at Port Nelson during October and November.

Nelson MP Nick Smith and Minister of Energy and Resources Simon Bridges congratulated Port Nelson at a site visit today on their successful refit of floating oil storage ship the Raroa.

“The Raroa’s planned upgrade and maintenance work was completed over three weeks at Port Nelson during October and November. This $80 million job saw up to 250 people a day and more than 60,000 man hours worked to complete the refit safely,” Dr Smith says.

"Nelson should be very proud of its marine industries and the capacity for them to deliver complicated projects like the refit of the Raroa. We need to be looking for every opportunity for work in the fishing transport, and oil and gas industries, to expand job and wealth creation’" Dr Smith says.

"People who are opposed to New Zealand being involved in the oil and gas industry need to acknowledge that it will cost communities like Nelson jobs and income. The answer is not in rebuffing New Zealand’s opportunities with the oil and gas industry and importing fuel from offshore, but in making sure the industry matches up to the world’s best practise environmental standards.’"

Energy and Resources Minister Simon Bridges says New Zealand’s abundance of energy and mineral resources provides us with unique opportunities to grow our economy.

“Oil is our fourth largest export, with a value of around $1.8 billion in 2012. It’s also our only industry which doubled the number of people it employs over the past decade, with more than 7,000 now involved in the sector,” Mr Bridges says.  

“The Government receives around 42 per cent of the profits or about $700 million a year, with this money invested back into our communities in key infrastructure like our schools, roads and hospitals,” Mr Bridges says.

“While the oil and gas industry is already an important contributor to the New Zealand economy, the safe and environmentally sensible development of these resources offers us a significant opportunity for future growth,” Mr Bridges says.

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