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Source: MIL-OSI Submissions
Source: Chris Leitch, Leader Social Credit Party, Whangarei Candidate

The petition with over 18,300 signatures calling on the government to declare the Marsden Point Oil Refinery a nationally strategic asset and keep it operating will be handed to National Party MP Shane Reti at the Refinery entrance at 10am this Friday for presentation to Parliament.

Whangarei’s Mayor Sheryl Mai has been invited along with union delegates.

The petition, started by Social Credit Party leader Chris Leitch, call on the government to purchase the refinery to give New Zealand a level of fuel security because it could use oil from Taranaki to keep essential services running if international crude supplies or refined fuel were cut off.

The purchase, at no cost to taxpayers, could be funded by the government owned Reserve Bank which has created around $60 billion in the last 18 months,

Allowing the refinery to be shut down will make the country reliant on imported refined fuel – a move that has been criticised by a range of analysts, among them Simon Terry of the Sustainability Council, Adelaide energy analyst Dr Graeme Bethune, Brian Cox of the Bio-Energy Association, head of the Northern Australia Strategic Policy Centre Dr John Coyne, and researcher Toby Dalley.

Relying on assumptions that global supply chains could readily deliver is strategically naïve.

For fuel security to keep all major essential transport, emergency services, air and defence operations going New Zealand needs to be able to refine its own oil as reliance on overseas refined product getting into the country is fraught with danger.

Australia has recognised that and imposed a levy of a cent a litre on fuel to keep their last two refineries going.

Even with two refineries secured, Australia is considered an outlier for not having better oil security, according to Dr Graeme Bethune.

The potential for Marsden Point to become a green energy hub – a place where advanced new technology options like plastic to fuel, waste to energy, carbon capture, bio-fuel production and desalination could be deployed will effectively be gone.

Approximately 600 jobs will be lost when the refining operation shuts down.

The economic and social cost to Northland of the closure will be felt by many other businesses.

There are times when the government needs to act to put the interests of New Zealanders ahead of everything else.

It’s not too late for them to do that.

The petition will be handed over at 10am on Friday at the refinery entrance.