Stadium Councillors back coastal oil exploration

Backing seen as re-election bid by councillors.

### ODT Online Mon, 24 Sep 2012
Support for oil giant
By Debbie Porteous
Dunedin businesses, and several city councillors, are throwing their arms wide open to oil exploration giant Anadarko. A group of six Anadarko representatives, in the city this week for a series of “community engagement” meetings, will be greeted this morning with a two-page spread in the Otago Daily Times and an open letter from the Otago Chamber of Commerce welcoming the company to the city. The letter is supported by 155 businesses and organisations, MP Michael Woodhouse and seven city councillors.

The city councillors listed in the advertisement are Crs Bill Acklin, Syd Brown, John Bezett, Colin Weatherall, Andrew Noone, Paul Hudson and Neil Collins.

The company plans to explore for oil off Oamaru in late 2013, after a global shortage of rigs delayed its exploration drilling programme. The Anadarko group met local iwi representatives and Mayor Dave Cull yesterday and are to meet the chamber and others early this week.
Read more

Related Comments (see thread):

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under Business, DCC, Economics, Geography, Hot air, Media, Name, People, Politics, Project management

29 responses to “Stadium Councillors back coastal oil exploration

  1. Elizabeth

    ### September 24, 2012 – 5:55pm
    Not everyone in Dunedin happy about Anadarko
    The welcome mat may have been laid out for oil giant Anadarko, but not everyone in Dunedin is so enthusiastic. Supporters say Dunedin could be established as a future base for the company, whose representatives are in town meeting with businesses and stakeholders. But opponents say they are being naive.

  2. Peter

    The two page spread, in today’s ODT, of businesses supporting Anadarko drilling off the coast is reminiscent of an earlier tactic, by the ODT, to support the final vote to go ahead with the stadium. On that occasion, rugby head Paul Dwyer, of the Advertising Department, included ‘Allied Press’ as a supporting business, much to the annoyance, I understand, of the editor because I guess it blatantly showed the ODT’s stand when they were trying to claim ‘balance’ in their position on the stadium. The inclusion blew their so-called neutrality. Not that it mattered because we knew, very early on, that the ODT was 100% behind the stadium. Well, the management and owners at least. We also know that many rank and file are embarrassed by the paper’s overt and clumsy stance on the stadium.
    This time, Allied Press is not included but we are not fooled, are we?

    • Elizabeth

      I don’t have a set position on offshore exploration – although I can’t see it as all doom provided environmental controls are present and meet government ‘stipulations’, call me naive. Not many jobs or riches will accrue to Dunedin.

      I’ve got a direct relationship with just two of the businesses appearing in the ODT spread.

      The ODT is represented by Arthur Barnett Ltd…

      The list has all the local bully boys we would expect to see in the line-up. Not all of whose businesses will gain a cent from the presence of Anadarko in our waters. A bit like those who advertised to support the stadium project – very few have made any dollars from their implied association with the Farry-grandiosity, care of the ODT/Nick Smith’s self-bloat.

      Today, the Chamber claimed there are many more local businesses that could be listed as supporting Anadarko.

      Mr Woodhouse (list MP and bottom crawler) is a waste of space; his presence on behalf of National is laughable.

      I wonder if it’s proper for the gentlemen councillors to represent “DCC” this way in the advert – normally, wouldn’t they need to feature as ‘individuals’? I hope the other councillors are asking questions about all this.

      I’m surprised Staynes, Wilson and Thomson aren’t listed too.

  3. Peter

    I notice that Michael Woodhouse sits behind Key in Parliament and can often be seen grinning and nodding his head. Obviously ambitious.
    In today’s ODT he shockingly shows a heartless disregard for the Kiwirail redundancies. What kind of representative is that?

  4. Hype O'Thermia

    One who’ll go far. “He always voted at his party’s call, and never thought of thinking for himself at all” – not because he can’t, he’s a clever fellow – but because he knows where career advancement comes from.

  5. janet

    Elizabeth, I can’t leave your statement that “not many jobs or riches will accrue to Dunedin” unchallenged. What is your basis for stating this? What’s your data? It’s really too easy to just toss off comments.

  6. Elizabeth

    Council chief executive Paul Orders, clear-sighted as usual.

    ### ODT Online Tue, 25 Sep 2012
    Any benefit from oil strike years away
    By Debbie Porteous
    Even if Anadarko strikes oil next year, it would be at least seven or eight years before there is any benefit for Dunedin, the company says.
    Mr Cull said the city council was approached about adding its banner to the advertisement, but the chief executive declined on the basis it was not clear what exactly was being endorsed at that stage, and there was no official council position on the matter.
    Read more

  7. Anonymous

    @Janet, my take on it is that in an exploration phase, the primary involvement of Dunedin will be as a resupply port.

    Vessels will be out in the exploration areas for months, they return to port for resupply, crews come ashore for R&R and/or to be swapped with incoming crew.

    Some minor light engineering requirements for spares/fittings etc. But most of the drill equipment will be shipped in from overseas.

    In a production phase, if that happens, then a rig will be towed in from elsewhere and supplied from shore. If there is a pipeline constructed, that would require heavy engineering for a few years plus maintenance requirements. If there is a tanker terminal constructed, that would be major, but more likely an offshore mooring point would be established. Once that is done, the only long-term economic impact is maintenance and resupply.

    The real big riches, the income from royalties and taxes, do not get distributed regionally.

  8. Phil Cole

    And so the battle commences…

    As quoted in a recent ODT opinion piece that I was fortunate enough to have published…
    “Already, proponents for oil exploration are reported in the media in a positive light with accompanying quotes from so-called “oil industry experts” and oil company communications directors (spin doctors) espousing the financial, economic and social benefits that oil companies bring to a region.

    Those against are denounced as “Green activists” or “Greenpeace members”. Invariably their young age is brought out as a prominent feature as if to underline their “inexperience” in matters such as this.

    So, true to form as in any such debate, the make-up of the two sides is already being established in our sub-consciousness.”

    For the first paragraph read the article printed in yesterday’s ODT, together with the 2-page advert spread for the ‘proponents’…for the second paragraph read the same article – conveniently included towards the end – for the young ‘Green activist’ – shouldn’t be too hard to spot!

    The third paragraph confirms yesterday’s article in the ODT.

    Because of seven councillors already making their intentions known, does this preclude them from voting on the matter if it ever came to council – would they have to abstain because of a ‘conflict of interests’. Jinty was extremely savvy in her reply, neither saying ‘yes’ or ‘no’ but merely asking for evidence of their (Anadarko) claims.

    As I have said, I am ‘neutral’ on the position of oil exploration as I am willing to listen to both sides of the debate on this important matter. What I have also said is that it is paramount for the debate not to get ‘hijacked’ by spin doctors or ‘blind’ supporters from both sides of the argument. So far we have only heard from the ‘pro’ side.

    It was good to read today’s article, and the actions of CEO Paul Orders, that actually added an element of realism to the proceedings. Yes, it will be several years before any benefits would be noticed by people in Dunedin.

    In these cases it is usually anywhere between 2-5 years for the evaluation and appraisal of any discovery to be made from the initial discovery, as well as allowing for the making of any decision to develop any discovery. This would also be tied to the decision of whether or not to award a mining permit (which, in my opinion, would be granted regardless of whichever party was in power). Then, assuming the discovery is economically viable – and only time will tell – production of the first gas or oil will commence approximately 10 years following the initial discovery. So…it could well be several years – or longer, depending on lobbying and the extents that interested parties will go to.

    My guess would be that it would be at least 2015/16 before any reasonable appraisal can be made of the amount of oil and gas that may exist in the basin and offshore, and, if it is in the affirmative, it can be around 2020 at the earliest before any of the financial profits arising from the oil extraction filters into the New Zealand economy.

    Until we actually start to get the data that ‘Janet’ calls for – in terms of the actual number, types and relevant jobs that will add to Dunedin’s economy from Anadarko and its partners – we can only speculate as to the types of jobs that will be ‘created’ from this oil venture. But economic gain for its own sake, whilst possibly risking the overall impact if something should go badly wrong from exploring for oil (in terms of pollution and damage cause to New Zealand’s export markets abroad in other goods) should not be chased after with a blinkered approach; today’s (25 Sept 2012) cartoon in the ODT is actually a case of ‘if a picture paints a thousand words’…

  9. Hype O'Thermia

    Many Kiwis working in Australia in the mines are FIFO’s – fly in, fly out. Their families remain in NZ, where the children’s education goes on as normal. Dad, it’s usually Dad, works hard. Long hours, high pay and no living expenses, it’s all supplied by the company, then a break long enough to come home every few weeks. I would expect many of the offshore workers here, should oil exploration go ahead, to be the same since the company will already have a pool of fully trained employees to draw from. So I wouldn’t get too excited about all the local people who have been laid off from other businesses getting high-paid jobs. And I wouldn’t bet on making a fortune from the workers on R&R. If the shift arrangements are like they are elsewhere, they are not likely to come and stay in a motel in Dunedin for their breaks and catch up on shopping and going to bars here. Would you, if your friends and family weren’t here?

  10. Hype O'Thermia

    Elizabeth, I too keep an eye on Paul Orders and so far have been well impressed by the man’s clear-sighted common sense. To adapt the song from Cabaret, “Maybe this time we’ve been lucky, maybe this time we’ve won [a CEO worth his salt]”.

  11. Peter

    Phil. I don’t think it will make a jot of difference getting all the data from the oil drilling proponents, so it can be properly assessed by us all, without the input from spin doctors on either side, as you put it. As we found with the stadium proposal, the peer reviews done, but not completed, that highlighted big risks (that have since been vindicated), were ignored. Even Andrew Noone admitted yesterday he hadn’t read any economic impact statements and today Bezett seems more intent on putting out the/his ‘welcome mat’ for Anadarko. More a feel good factor will satisfy most of these councillors when they make a decision. No doubt already made as you pointed out.
    Not sure how long you will be able to claim ‘neutrality’. Even you put that word in inverted commas! :)

    • Elizabeth

      Local government is really outside the offshore exploration realm of government legislation, for the most part. What DCC says is fairly irrelevant for now, but a welcome mat isn’t silly given the Port of Timaru needs a bit of business to perk itself up – it has light engineering capability in the vicinity and is closer to Lyttelton and Christchurch. Dunedin isn’t the only answer.

    • Elizabeth

      As with anything Peter, even a trace more information from all sides of the argument helps, and right now the Dunedin community has very little to go on. All good comments here – this isn’t going to be a polar opposite (black and white) explore for information… lots of colour to be added from what we know of technological advances, existing global company performance and projections, the world shipping economy and patterns of trade, Central Government handlings, etc etc – you name it. Too soon to satisfy the spin doctors! Like winning Lotto, is it better to buy expensive tickets every week and never win – or put that weekly money towards something that’s a productive investment ? Dunedin only boomed in the 1800s, for a short time. The city’s greater wealth (in fact, Auckland’s) is dependent on Otago Southland’s rural economy with a bit of fishing thrown in, for export. With some smart industry and IT slowly coming through, for export – and “well done” to the people making that happen.

  12. Phil Cole

    Yes Peter….I must admit I am finding it hard to remain neutral…Not sure how countries like Switzerland and Sweden remained neutral during the Second World War! But that’s another matter…:)

    I’m not sure about you, but when you read the coverage in the press of the last few days on this matter, I tend to side with the ‘underdog’. This will not affect my ability to assimilate the information from both sides – and from what I can gather doing my own research which has already been fairly extensive on this subject – but it will make me look a lot harder at the ‘pro’ argument and the people / lobbyists / protagonists behind them until they start coming out with their reasoning behind their assumptions.

    The fact that it may take several years before any benefit is forthcoming to New Zealand – as that is where the majority of benefit will go – should actually focus those 150+ supporters into looking into other ways to stimulate the local economy and spend more effort on this. It seems a little strange to put most of your eggs into one project that is several years away from any possible return…

    I thought lessons had been learnt from the Stadium story…

  13. Peter

    Fair enough comments, Phil.
    The prospect of something big happening is different to the reality of what is likely to happen.
    The search for information takes me back again-sorry- to the stadium. Many of you will remember that one of the ruses of the pro stadium side, to massage the stadium along, when it met the lines in the sand/conditions to be met, was that they needed more information.This was a useful to them because it came across as so reasonable and they were able to cross the lines in the sand.
    It will be interesting to see how this ‘search for information’ plays out this time on this issue. Clearly, those same stadium councillors, who put their names to the two page advert the other day,don’t seem to need more information this time. Funny,eh.

  14. Russell Garbutt

    Yes Peter – noticeable entirely that it was the stadium cabal led by Brown that put their names to this. But golly gee – they are such perceptive and superbly qualified people to make momentous decisions on our behalf. I mean, wouldn’t you really put the ulitmate trust in mental giants like Neil Collins and Bill Acklin? I mean, Neil has met and personally shaken the hands of people like Kenny Rodgers!!! This should qualify him on that alone. And Bill Acklin has personally sung at a number of Masters Games functions. And then there is Bezett – I’m sure he has a current hair modelling contract with someone. All wise and perceptive people……oh, unless I’ve been somehow deceived.

  15. Calvin Oaten

    Dave Cull and Paul Orders submitting on the proposed local government reforms to a select committee hearing is entertaining to say the least.
    Dave says “the DCC should be left to tackle debt levels and rates rises without new controls imposed by the Government”. Is he ‘avin a laugh’? It is just that which brought about the Government’s interest in this problem in the first place. He says rates and debt were two issues already at the top of his council’s agenda, and the Government’s proposed changes risked “unintended negative consequences”. He’s ‘avin a laugh again’. The man’s sense of humour knows no bounds. The proposed limit on rates rises would erode council’s previously “unfettered” ability to raise revenue through rates, he says. It’s almost like he is in a ‘drug rehabilitation programme’ and is in denial about his addiction. Classic response, don’t admit any problem, just leave me alone and I will sort it.
    Sorry Dave, but you and your equally drug driven cohorts are in serious denial and the citizens are paying a very big price. He worries that to restrict them now would upset the ‘drug peddlers’ (banks) and cause the price to rise. That, of course would increase the pain and he just couldn’t stand that. It would seriously affect his sense of wellbeing and confidence in his own ability. The man is desperately in need of being loved by all.
    Lee Vandervis, as our only hope, I hope you can mediate around that table and get some traction. I am not holding my breath.

  16. Anonymous

    I’m with Elizabeth on not having a particular position on offshore exploration, mostly because I’m resigned to the fact any decisions about where it occurs will have already been made.

    The oil corporations have played this out many times before. What we have here in Dunedin is a corrupt council with cunning, desperate and stupid leaders sitting around its table. The city is desperate and broke. Businesses are desperate and going broke, making decisions based on short term thinking rather than strategic planning. They’re firing productive staff and replacing them with more bureaucracy.

    Our circumstances are perfect for billion dollar companies and we are ripe for the picking. All that is left now is to cause a face-off between localities to prove that none is more important than the other. To ensure that no-one is in place to squeeze the companies for a percentage of the takings. If we were in a better position, we could negotiate for that cut but we’re not and we’re not going to get it. Dunedin will be the base but any short term rewards will be just a marketing smokescreen.

    Some of the Stadium Councillors along with the usual millionaires screwing this town will get their small piece of the pie but they will be nothing of value in the wider picture of the companies concerned. The other Stadium Councillors are falling for the flawed myth the wealthy will recognise them with wealth of their own.

    Greed and desperation is exactly what the the oil companies need.

    One important suggestion to consider is LEARN from those towns who have gained and then lost much, much more at the end: Take what you can get but save that money for the day when the oil money leaves.

  17. Peter

    Isn’t it an awful presumption that the council can manage debt levels and rate rises as claimed? In the same breath, Dave Cull wants ‘unfettered’ access to rates to raise revenue if/when needed… or else there could be negative consequences of having to live within our means. (That’s a good thing, isn’t it?) This surely underlines the exact need for central government to take control again. Councils just need to get back to basics. They should be welcoming this brake on their spending habits. This is ‘Tough Love’ time for councils.

  18. Hype O'Thermia

    Peter writes: “Dave Cull wants ‘unfettered’ access to rates to raise revenue if/when needed.” Shiver down spine was felt by all who remembered his pre-election stance on the $$$$$-sucking stadium, he’d support further spending but only what was n-e-e-d-e-d to make it work. Necessities, needed – words that get re-defined when a person gets free access to another person’s bank account.

  19. Bev Butler

    I suggest that Anadarko set up an ANADARKO ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION FUND as a gesture of goodwill to the Dunedin Community to alleviate fears environmental groups have with regard to the risk of damage being done to our environment should an oil spill occur.
    I see this as a win-win for both sides of the debate. Anadarko wins by getting community support behind their proposal and the Dunedin community wins by getting the reassurance that in the event of an environmental disaster the funding will be available for a clean up.
    I suggest the DCC commission an independent study of the estimated costs for such a clean up if required. There is plenty of statistical information available for this study – eg nationally with the Rena oil spill and internationally with the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. I envisage this Anadarko Environment Protection Fund be administered by an independent board.
    The promise of a few jobs should the Anadarko proposal go ahead needs to be balanced by the possibility of hundreds of jobs at risk should an oil spill occur. One of Dunedin’s main attractions is its natural beauty and Nature Tourism.
    So far, in the ODT ad, we have only 150 businesses supporting the proposal – this is approximately 2.5% of the total business community.
    The Anadarko Environment Protection Fund is no different than a landlord insisting on a bond from tenants to pay for possible damage done to his property. Any unwillingness for Anadarko to consider an ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION FUND would indicate their lack of genuine concern for Dunedin’s environment.
    The DCC councillors could consider this proposal as a condition for their support. Of course, the money for the fund would need to be paid upfront before any drilling commences.

  20. Elizabeth

    Views at ODT today:

    President, Otago Chamber of Commerce

    Student, University of Otago and National Coordinator, Generation Zero

  21. amanda

    The OUSA president who was unconcerned about water assets being sold nationally, seeks to be a DCC councillor. I wondered why his mug has been appearing in the ODT so much lately. If he is elected, say good bye to our local assets, water will be gone. We need a student who actually gives a damn about Dunedin, not helping the few stakeholders at the top continue to take. Uni can do much better than Edgar. Would Louis Chambers be that student? If he wants any infuence, politics could be a way to go.

    • Elizabeth

      We keep receiving search engine terms at What if? that ask if Logan Edgar is related to Eion Edgar ?
      Does anyone know ?

      What does the voter turnout say? Be gone Edgar ?

      ### September 28, 2012 – 5:53pm
      New OUSA president elected
      A new president has been named to lead the OUSA next year, and voter turnout for the elections was the highest the organisation has seen since 2007. The outgoing president has given his full support to the new executive, and the incoming president says he will do his best to improve the quality of life for students.

  22. Anonymous

    I’m a little uncomfortable with Logan Edgar. He started off strong but seemed to get caught up in the allure of the university Stakeholders.

    His position on national asset sales do not make him a good candidate for council. The city’s corrupt Stakeholders are gunning for our assets and they are only going to support cunning, desperate and stupid candidates to make their visions possible. I would like Logan to be straight up about who is behind the scenes supporting and sponsoring him. This is important if voters are to trust him and any other candidate standing next election.

    It will be interesting though to see if he revises his approach to public speaking. It was quite entertaining in the student arena but is unlikely to appeal to the more conservative voters, particularly ODT subscribers who still believe singing councillors are the right people to waste important votes on. It is important we get people on council who work in the best interests of Dunedin City and not in the interests of those behind the likes of the Stadium Councillors.

    Interesting to note Logan’s brother Ryan did not win the OUSA President for 2013 election. The position has gone to Francisco Hernandez. More information is available at Nothing on the ODT yet but they’re probably all chilling after a hard few days of stadium pimping.

    Not familiar with ODT Watch? Check out this week’s pun fun:–issue-26.

  23. Anonymous

    The author of a Letter to the Editor in today’s Otago Daily Times dares question Cr Syd Brown about his opinion on protesting oil. Cr Brown responds it is his right to an opinion – and fair enough – but then can’t help himself telling the writer his response should be the end of the discussion.

    Note the remaining seven Stadium Councillors are supporting oil. This demonstrates they are still willing to work together for another stakeholders’ rort and they have been chums throughout.

    > Bill Acklin
    > Syd Brown (Taieri Ward)
    > John Bezett
    > Neil Collins
    > Paul Hudson
    > Andrew Noone (Waikouaiti Ward)
    > Colin Weatherall

    PLEASE HELP: Taieri and Waikouaiti constituents – please stand up and vote for new representation.

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