Poll shows Kiwis back safety measures at sea

The Petroleum Exploration and Production Association CEO, David Robinson, welcomed the results of a Herald-DigiPoll survey that showed nearly three in four New Zealanders support a law change to restrict protest near deep-sea drilling rigs or ships exploring for oil and gas.

“The oil and gas industry strives to be responsible operators. Warning people of the health and safety hazards of getting close to a seismic vessel is what responsible operators do.

“The exclusion zone lets people know that if you are 500 meters away from the ship you are safe, 400 meters means you are at risk.

“This poll shows that the majority of New Zealander’s understand that placing an exclusion zone around seismic testing ships is about keeping our workers and other sea users safe.

“If you get in the way of a seismic vessel – it’s like jumping in front of a freight train - neither can stop on a dime.

“When our people come to work they expect to finish at the end of the day and go home to their families – they do not choose to put their lives at risk even though someone else might.

“Everyone’s right to protest remains intact.

“But with rights, come responsibilities. And as an industry we ask that any action taken is done responsibly and without putting the lives of our crews in danger through reckless actions.

“This poll shows New Zealanders agree that putting in place measures to ensure everyone is safe at sea is not only responsible but necessary.