A reader has sent us a link to this petition started by Chris Leitch of Whangarei. While we have reservations about government being involved in business, particularly the present government, the reasoning seems sound.

Chris Leitch started this petition to The Government of New Zealand

We call on the government to declare the Marsden Point Oil Refinery a nationally strategic asset and to compulsorily purchase all the shares from the private owners (using money created by the country’s central bank) and turn it back into a state owned enterprise which continues to refine crude oil into the fuels needed to keep the New Zealand economy operating.

While we need to transition away from reliance on fossil fuels the decision to shut down the refining operation at Marsden Point has been made by the shareholders purely in the interests of generating larger profits from imported refined product and not in the interests of New Zealand’s strategic fuel needs.

This decision means we will still be burning the same amount of fuel, but become even more reliant on imported products from overseas owned conglomerates.

The majority shareholders in the refining company are the oil companies who own refineries across Asia and who want to ensure those refineries run at full capacity to maximise their profits.

In a natural disaster or international conflict, shipping routes to New Zealand could be cut off and the supply of fuel to critical sectors of our economy severely compromised.

We need an insurance policy against that risk. Buying the Refinery is cheap insurance. New Zealand produces its own oil. That home grown oil, refined here, gives us fuel security to keep essential services going if the refinery is still operating.

Read the rest at change.org