Kapi-Mana News : December 11th 2012
11 KAPI-MANA NEWS, DECEMBER 11, 2012 OPINION/NEWS For all your Christmas needs come to Tawas local Butcher & Baker Both open through the Christmas and New Year holidays Supplying award winning Black Rock Ham (best Ham in New Zealand) & Fresh Turkeys Phone 232 8310 Village Bakery Christmas Cakes, Puddings, Fruit Mince Pies (awarded best Mince Pies in Tawa & Porirua) Phone 232 6888 Job expansion plans take a hit TALKING POLITICS GORDON CAMPBELL The Government has long been depending on oil and gas explora- tion to deliver economic growth and jobs aplenty. However, as of last week, that particular bottle is no longer hanging on the wall. The decision by Brazilian oil giant Petrobras to terminate its exploration activities off East Cape has come hard on the heels of the American oil firm Anadarko announcing it had suspended plans for deep-sea drilling off the Taranaki coast. Taken together, the decisions sound the death knell for Econ- omic Development Minister Steven Joyce s oft-stated belief that oil and gas finds in our terri- torial waters offer New Zealand a realistic path to economic prosperity. True, the exit of Petrobras means that the licences that it held off East Cape will now be available for others to purchase. Yet as Radio New Zealand s Mary Wilson asked Energy Minis- ter Phil Heatley last week, if the world s third-largest oil company doesn t believe the test results jus- tify spending any more money off East Cape, who else will? Heatley s reply? Let s see. Waiting and hoping looks like an increasingly forlorn hope -- and the post-mortems on the Petrob- ras departure have already begun. The protest actions taken by Greenpeace in conjunction with East Cape Maori communities do not seem to have inspired Petro- bras final decision, nor were the protests ever conceived in that light. Local activists always spoke of making their opposition merely an element in the decision mix, rather than a decisive factor. Petrobras, it seems, simply over-reached itself. All year, the company has been trying to consolidate its ambitious global expansion plans into some- thing more financially sustain- able. The crucial next step in New Zealand would have involved Petrobras bringing in a drilling rig that, reportedly, would have cost a million dollars a day to operate. Given our rough, deep and untested waters, and in the absence of local infrastructure -- most of the expertise and high- paying jobs would have been flown in and out again by the Brazilians -- the gamble wasn t judged to be worth the risk. Ultimately, Petrobras cut their losses at less than their $10 mil- lion budget, and went home. There will be ripple effects. The high cost involved in importing and operating a deep-water rig always made it desirable to spread the cost across a few sites and participants. With the departure of Petro- bras, much of the critical mass for a local deep sea exploration/drill- ing industry has now been lost. So where does that leave the Government in terms of a feasible plan for job creation and economic growth? To Radio New Zealand, Heatley named a few other bottles still left standing: We talk about irrigation in the South Island. We talk about mar- ine farming. We talk about Sky City Casino. We talk about miner- als exploration.... Offshore oil and gas exploration still had potential to create jobs, Heatley insisted. But until a business decides to make an investment and employ people, we can t have that conver- sation. Wondering, waiting, wishing. Like job seekers on the employ- ment market, the Government appears to be looking at the avail- able growth options with an increasing sense of desperation. At this rate, even Cabinet Min- isters could be out looking for new jobs after the next election. Pou noted piece of work at Pukerua Bay Morning glory: Pukerua Bay residents admire the pou after the dawn blessing. Photo: IVOR EARP-JONES A six-metre high carved Pou Tangaroa (God of the Sea) has been unveiled and blessed on the Pukerua Bay foreshore. About 100 people turned up at 5.45am for the dawn ceremony led by Ngati Toa on Saturday, Decem- ber 1. The pou was designed and carved by Pukerua Bay resident and Ngati Toa carver Hermann Salzmann, with the help of Ngati Toa carvers as required. It tells the story of the area s marine reserve and the significance and history of the site at the end of Ocean Bay Parade. This is a great challenge for me and I m quite proud to do it for the community, says Mr Salzmann. Pukerua Bay Residents Associ- ation chairman Iain MacLean says the pou represents the sense of guardianship the residents and Ngati Toa feel towards the bay, and will be connected to the heri- tage and environment trails the community is developing. It expresses the community values that are the foundation of our village plan. The work was carried out through the Village Planning Pro- gramme at the request of the Pukerua Bay community, which signed-off the pou design. A local resident also provided the design for the pou s substantial foun- dation works. The tricky job of moving the artwork, which weighs more than two tonnes, out of Hermann s property and into place was done by construction firm N & R Askew. The pou is the third significant piece of public art around Porirua at the request of communities through the Village Planning Pro- gramme, including the mosaic artwork at Waitangirua Mall and the carved pou at Takapuwahia.
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