Moana Mackey  | 
Friday, May 31, 2013 – 10:13

Bridges withheld sea protest ban info

Energy Minister Simon Bridges held back critical information on the sea protest ban as the Government rammed through Shell’s pet project, says Labour Energy Spokesperson Moana Mackey.

“Steven Joyce and Simon Bridges came up with the sea protest ban during backroom deals with Shell NZ bosses. They didn’t want the public to know.

“Simon Bridges told his ministry to develop the amendment to the law but deliberately kept it hidden until the very last minute. That meant MPs couldn’t scrutinise the changes through select committee.

“Mr Bridges again ran roughshod over democratic process by not providing a regulatory impact statement to Parliament, which sets out the impacts of the amendment.

“This is despite information released to Labour under the Official Information Act showing that the regulatory impact statement not only existed, but the Minister refused to release it despite being advised to do so by Treasury and his officials.

“This is yet another example of Mr Bridges’ arrogant stymying of due process.

“And it now appears that Mr Bridges misled Parliament in responding to written questions on the amendment. When asked if any business or organisation from the industry asked for the amendment to be drafted he replied ‘no’. That’s being very economical with the truth.

“On an issue as controversial as the removal of the democratic right to protest at sea the public of New Zealand should expect more from the Minister of Energy than shoddy process, obfuscation, and the withholding of critical information,” says Moana Mackey.