22 Nov 2013

Labour accused of misleading public over deep sea drilling

8:57 am on 22 November 2013

The oil industry says the Labour Party is misleading the public about the dangers of deep sea drilling.

Labour Party leader David Cunliffe, says he has documents that show there's a 70% probability that in any given year there'll be a "company-reported incident" with deep sea drilling.

Petroleum Exploration and Production Association chief executive David Robinson told Radio New Zealand's Morning Report programme Mr Cunliffe is quoting selectively from the publicly available report.

"New Zealanders need to have the facts in front of them about how we do (deep sea drilling) safely and why they can have confidence in the industry.

"That's why we need to have a mature conversation which doesn't refer to single sections in reports which are misleading for people."

Mr Robinson says New Zealand has the best laws and regulations for oil drilling in the world.

Environment Minister Amy Adams said the 70% probability refers to incidents such as damage to property, illness or safety issues - not a greater risk of an oil spill.

Mr Cunliffe says the Government did not include the report in its response to an Official Information Act request, although he concedes it is publicly available.