Big Oil infects the civil service


This story deserved far more attention last week…

Petroleum regulator accused of industry capture

More than half the employees working in the government division tasked with regulating the petroleum industry have registered conflicts of interest. 

Information released to Newsroom under the Official Information Act raises concerns about a “revolving door” between the oil and gas sector and the part of the Government tasked to regulate it. 

Green Party energy spokesperson Gareth Hughes said the revelation shows the need for the “separation of state and oil”.

“The conflict of interest figures are incredibly high and concerning,” he said. 

Of the nine staff in the petroleum division at the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE), five registered real or perceived conflicts of interest. The information does not record which companies or relationships caused those conflicts of interest, but conceded that it did employ people who had worked in the sector. 

…no wonder why we can’t force real climate crisis legislation through, Big Oil owns the public service.

Their influence permeates all policy decisions to the point where corporate spies are helped to gain funding to spy on environmentalists, Greenpeace and Māori Iwi.

Big Oil are cancer. You don’t negotiate with cancer.

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How powerful is Big Oil? The Greens and Labour are in power, yet neither of them are able to prevent fracking.

The same can be said of MPI and the Fishing industry.

The rules are written by the greedy Big Oil industry, they are set to benefit them, not us the people and the sooner we acknowledge how infected our public service has become the sooner we can start purging these interests from setting the rules.


  1. Spot on about big oil infecting the civil service.

    Unfortunately it goes way beyond that, Martyn.

    The economic-political-social system is totally dependent on continued consumption of oil at around the current level, and the growth narrative espoused by politicians and bureaucrats implies even greater use of oil, since oil underpins everything in industrial nations. Economic activity equates to the use of fossil fuels, particularly oil (either directly or indirectly). In a world which is depleted of easy-to-extract oil and which is suffering overheating and massive environmental contamination it is insane to be thinking of economic growth, yet that’s what MBIE are doing because the system demands it!

    Politicians slavishly adhere to the system they either do not understand or are fearful of; they promote increased energy consumption and increase resource consumption whilst pretending to be addressing energy and environmental destruction. It is clearly a no-win game which is progressing to the point of ‘blowing up’.

    Until the ‘blow up’ point is reached, big oil will continue to loot and pollute the Earth, with government backing.

    • Yes, and re conflicts of interest, this happens all the time, go to any local government hearing or so, also some by central government (Select Committees, forums), and you will find many ‘experts’ that are such who usually give their advice to various core industry players and lobby groups also.

      They do not make a living working pro bono, or for free, they usually get paid and employed by business. Even our universities are now collaborating on many fronts with corporations and business groups.

      Here an energy and resources outlook that tells us what the ‘experts’ report:

      There is not going to be any fast move away from fossil fuels any time soon, not for decades to come.

  2. The problem is not only Big Oil, it is Big Coal in Australia that helped decide the latest general election outcome:

    So here we go, all those hoping for people to wake up and smell the coffee and embrace environmentalism, they have to pack up and go home and shut the doors behind them.

    This is what will happen in many places.

    People depend on these energies, simply blaming the corporations will not address the challenges, the people need to be changed, that is their views.

    But try getting turkeys to vote for an early Christmas, it will not be that easy.

    • Good comment Marc re people depending on these energies, key word “depend” as we all really, really do. We are to blame, we need this stuff, who wants to cycle 25km to work in the rain? Your wife? How’s the hairdo after that ride, and sweaty armpits, possible heart attacks? Blaming the petrol companies is fine by me, however the individual, you and me are demanding petrol, and cheap.

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