Dunedin mayor Dave Cull has been one of the leaders behind the Stand Up Otago campaign.
It was sparked by AgResearch’s proposal to shift most of its scientists from Invermay Research Centre.
Cull has said that the Christchurch rebuild is coming at the cost of tool little to other regions and the government should be doing more to protect and create jobs in other areas.
It’s all very easy to look to central government, but local government has at least as important a role to play in making a city and province attractive to businesses.
It also needs to be open to a range of opportunities, one of those is oil exploration and Cull opposes that.
. . . Mr Cull told the Otago Daily Times he was against continuing the hunt for fossil fuels – including off Dunedin’s coast – when the world was already heating up.
That was because of the threat of climate change globally, and also the risk of an environmental catastrophe locally, he said. . .
Unless he’s doing everything he can as an individual and mayor to reduce reliance on fossil fuels this is nothing more than NIMBYism.
Taranaki illustrates the economic and social benefits to be gained from oil extraction which have come without causing any problems to the province’s environment. There’s potential for similarly positive spin-offs for Dunedin’s and wider Otago.
It’s no good asking the government to stand up for the province when the mayor will turn his back on an opportunity that could boost business in the way mineral exploration and extraction could.