28 Jun 2013

Referendum demanded on petroleum exploration

8:56 am on 28 June 2013

An opponent of the Government's plan to expand offshore petroleum exploration is calling on the Minister of Energy to hold a referendum on the issue.

Last month the Government offered permits to oil companies to explore nearly 200,000km offshore, but those against it say the Government is breaking international law.

Kieran Trass said he intends to disrupt the oil company, Anadarko, as it prepares to drill a test well off the Otago coast in a few months, unless a referendum is called.

Petroleum, Exploration and Production Association chief executive David Robinson said extensive surveying of the population has been done and the majority of New Zealanders are happy for the oil industry to expand.

Energy Minister Simon Bridges said he's comfortable with the legal process and the exploration forms part of the Government's plan to create high paying jobs.

More on this issue can be heard on Insight on Sunday.