Press Release – New Zealand Labour Party
Phil Goff Labour Leader 16 October 2011 MEDIA STATEMENT Government inaction will cost taxpayers and business owners millions A decision by the National Government not to introduce legislation recommended to it three years ago to increase the ability …Phil
16 October 2011 MEDIA STATEMENT
Government inaction will cost taxpayers and business owners millions
A decision by the National Government not to introduce legislation recommended to it three years ago to increase the ability of businesses and the Government to get compensation from those responsible for oil spills will cost taxpayers millions, Labour Leader Phil Goff says.
“Taxpayers and business owners in Tauranga who are already feeling the affects of the Rena oil spill disaster, are picking the tab for National’s incompetence,” Phil Goff said
“The Bunker Oil Convention came into force in 2008 and the Transport and Industrial select committee reported in late 2008 that the Convention should be passed into legislation.
“A briefing to the incoming minister in 2008 noted that the Ministry was preparing to introduce legislation to update the Maritime Transport Act in 2009. Why didn’t this happen? Three years after National first was told it needed to update legislation nothing has been done.
“Adoption of the legislation would have ensured liability around insurance was clear and made it easier to claim for economic loss and clean up costs incurred through the Rena disaster.
“Serious questions now need to be asked about why the Government didn’t proceed with the change of legislation.
“It seems the Government crossed its fingers and hoped like hell there would never be an oil spill that would have shown up their lack of action on this issue. Just like they crossed their fingers for five days of good weather when the Rena first grounded and hoped it wouldn’t leak oil. They were wrong on both counts.
“National’s failure to act three years ago will impose a major financial cost on New Zealanders,” Phil Goff said.