Speech about Alternatives to Oil & Gas

My speech to the panel discusson on the oil & gas industry coming to Hawke’s Bay.

Kia Ora everyone. Thank you for inviting me to speak tonight. Thank you for caring enough to come out and listen to the speakers lined up tonight.

For those of you who don’t know me my name is Paul Bailey and I’m the green party candidate for Hawkes Bay.

I’m standing for the Green party because I agree with the values set out in their four charter principle, Ecological Wisdom, Social Responsibility, Appropriate Decision Making & Non-Violence.

Ecological wisdom is a recognition that we are living on a finite planet and that we have to take care of our resources. There is no getting away from the fact that our survival as a species depends on it. Not even being one of the 1% is going to save you if you don’t have clean air to breath and clean water to drink.

Social responsibility requires that the resources we do have are shared in an equitable fashion. This is what binds us together as a community – giving everyone a fair go.

Appropriate decision making means that we should all have a say in the decision making process. This means that our leaders are required to lead, not dictate. Like Stuart, it’s why we are so opposed to amalgamation, and it’s also what’s so terribly wrong with the dam.

Non-violence dictates how we should relate to ourselves. It’s not only about physical violence, but it’s also about the abuse of power by the powerful for the powerful.

So the more I understand about the oil and gas industry the less I see it even remotely agreeing with what I value dearly. It’s also why the Green party is and remains opposed to the government coseying up to this industry. It is our policy to place a moratorium on fracking until the industry can prove that the process is safe.

It ss becoming less and less likely that on the East Coast it will be the boom that it has been touted as being. Only yesterday it was announced that reserves in the Monteray filed in California were overstated by 96%. Given how similar the geology of California and the East Coast are the trillon dollars business promoted by Mayor Yule may well be just a pipe dream.

So instead of backing a 19th centry extractive industry the focus in Hawke’s Bay should be on a Clean green Economy that works for Everyone! That’s where the long term, well paid jobs are going to come from.

So what does a Clean Green Economy that works for Everyone look like?

Firstly is makes social and cultural responsibility, and environmental sustainability as important as profitability. These are issues that are highly interrelated.

A healthy society is a happy society. A happy society is what ensure that we have a population that is educated enough, healthy enough, and motivated enough to want to contribute. A healthy society is what will encourage our kids to stay because Hawke’s Bay will be the place to be, not the place to have come from.

But we can’t have a healthy society unless we have a healthy economy. And our economy is only as healthy as our environment. Hawke’s Bay is blessed with some of the best land and climatic conditions in New Zealand. It has been the focus on low value commodities that has got us into the mess we are in now. A Clean Green Economy that works for everyone focuses on high value over high volume.

But we cannot have a focus on high value if our rivers are a mess and if our farms become industrial waste dumps. Who would want to pay a premium for products grown or raised in an environment like that? Why would we want to put that premium at risk?

But it won’t be easy to transition to a A Clean Green Economy that works for everyone. It takes proven leadership that is visionary and stable. The Green party has this in spades.

The recent announcement of the Green Investment bank demonstrates this. It ensures that the oil & gas industry will be charged royalties at an international rate, rather than a discounted rate, and then place that additional revenue into an investment bank specifically targeted at investing capital into clean green businesses. A win-win all round I would say.

So thanks again for allowing me to speak tonight. I am very excited about the election this year as I think there is a real mood for change to a truly progressive government. To make sure this happens you need to Party Vote Green.

Thanks.

23 May 2014

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