22 May 2013 8:34 a.m.
MNZ's capability levels questioned
A politician doesn't understand why the Government would carry on with drilling permits when an oil spill caused by the Rena couldn't even be properly managed.
The Green Party has received a statement from Maritime New Zealand under the Official Information Act, which admits it couldn't plug an underwater leak.
Energy spokesperson Gareth Hughes says this isn't good news, especially as the Government continues to hand out exploration permits for around the New Zealand coast.
He believes they need to check the planning and the equipment allocation up to the countries to decide whether they bring it to New Zealand or not.
He says they need to make sure the subsea response capabilities - like robotics and submersibles - is actually in New Zealand when drilling's being undertaken.
Mr Hughes says the Government wants to continue handing out permits, while knowing that if something bad happened, it would overwhelm services.
He thinks MNZ should make sure they have the equipment and the expertise to deal with the worst case scenario.
He says they've nominated 5,500 tonnes as the response capability amount, which he believes is woefully inadequate.