(Social Credit Party media release)

The current crisis likely to lead to severe jet fuel rationing in the lead up to Christmas completely vindicates Social Credit’s campaign to get the government to keep the Marsden Point Oil refinery operational.

That campaign was supported by 18,500 New Zealanders who signed a petition, presented to Parliament exactly twelve months ago, calling on the government to buy out the oil company owners and ensure fuel security for the country.

Rationing of up to 25 percent is likely which will cause severe disruption for air travellers, tourists, and the country’s exporters.

In the submission supporting its petition Social Credit pointed out the risks of just such an event, along with disruption to shipping routes due to escalating geopolitical tensions.

The so-called ‘experts’ at MBIE and those around the cabinet table chose to ignore our submission and allow the oil companies to make a purely profit-based decision to close the refinery down.

Insufficient weight was given to the fact that New Zealand is a very small country at the extremes of the Pacific Ocean and its vulnerability is significantly higher than most others.

That decision will now cost airlines and their customers massive additional costs and major disruptions as fuel rationing bites close to Christmas.

Even Australia was not stupid enough to allow closure of all its refineries; it ensured two remained operational and were actually upgraded to somewhere near the standard of our own, which produced high quality jet fuel, to ensure it could cope with just such an event as substandard fuel.

What’s even worse is that the government turned a blind eye while the oil companies, despite having promised not to do so, proceeded with unseemly haste to dismantle the refinery’s major components and disable it within a matter of weeks so that the costs of getting it back into operation would be so significant as to be impossible.

The assurances of the oil companies that they could guarantee security of supply for New Zealand have been proven hollow — exactly what Social Credit said at the time was the case, and New Zealanders will be footing the costs.

For more on the long running campaign see www.socialcredit.nz