New Zealands shortsighted Government gets caught out.

Posted By on September 18, 2017

Congratulations if you are touring in NZ at the moment. You get to stay a bit longer – like it or not! (And stuck in Auckland, you probably won’t like it.)

While Australia tries to deport New Zealanders, we can’t even get our Aussies off the ground! They can’t get enough fuel for trans Tasman flights and are cancelling them faster than NZ Greens Party members.

In 2012 the NZ National Party government received a report on security. All countries do one, every so often to pinpoint the kind of flaws terrorists could target to maximise disruption. The report highlighted a weak link in New Zealand’s fuel supply to Auckland, it’s largest city and main point of entry for international visitors. All the fuel for Auckland and most of the top of the North Island comes from Marsden Point oil refinery in a single 10 inch pipe line. That’s probably a third of the country’s population.

Typically the National Government’s Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment (MBIE) was asked to make a recommendation, which is akin to asking the fox to renovate the henhouse. The MBIE is focused on business profits, not infrastructure security. As far as they are concerned if it’s making a profit today and it’s not broken, then don’t improve on it for tomorrow. Their solution was to suggest motorists don’t fill their tanks as often and airlines “bunker” fuel reserves. In plain English, that translates to cancel flights that don’t pass through an airport with fuel and add stopovers for refuelling on flights that do. Somehow that answer averted the fuel security problem, as far as the National Government was concerned.

So we come to today; there’s no terrorist attack, just some farmer with a digger pulling out a tree stump, that damaged the pipeline from Marsden Point. The damage is not as extensive as we would see from a terrorist attack with explosives but we will be short on fuel in Auckland for up to two weeks. Motorists are asked to not fill up their tanks, so the place doesn’t grind to a halt from panic buying. At least 2000 tourists get to see soggy Auckland a bit longer – could be worse – could be stuck in windy and soggy Wellington …(Oh but wait – they have fuel!)

And we have an election coming up in a few weeks. If they haven’y fixed that pipeline, it’ll be a decided on postal votes alone – if that isn’t a reason to vote for a different party to take over from National, then what is?

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