I talked in my last post about the prime minister john key and his deliberate ignorance designed to bolster the inevitable court case on water. Why is the court case so important for key? It's got nothing to do with Māori or water - it is about commodification and in a round about way, the oil and gas exploitation. He has promised and I don't think the powers that be will accept a backdown on that. News about the PR campaign that they are about to wind into is scary - they have the money and they have many of the politicians.
Senior figures from the oil industry and the Crown's resource management unit have stressed the need to step up community engagement at the Petroleum Summit in Wellington today.
Petroleum Exploration and Production Association chairman Chris Bush said public confidence was needed to fulfil the Government's exploration goals - and both the Government and industry needed to lay the groundwork for that.
"We need to take the time and explain why it is important to grow oil and gas exploration here in New Zealand, so communities have an understanding of the benefits and the future energy situation we may face without it."
The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment unit tasked with managing oil and gas resources and issuing exploration permits is also pushing for greater community engagement.
New Zealand Petroleum and Minerals director of petroleum Kevin Rolens said it would be looking at how it engaged with local communities to build confidence and connect with the public.
Rolens said his unit was developing a stakeholder strategy to ensure the community received consistent messages.
Petroleum Exploration and Production Association chief executive David Robinson said "Our communities must come on the journey with us. Our panels on community engagement are an important part of making sure we are doing our best to engage with Kiwis across the country."Their tactics are in play in the quotes - simple message driven relentlessly into the mind by repetition and the use of pseudo-words like journey and engagement. They had better get on with it though because the latest news report from their conference was dominated by the loud protestors outside - respect!