Dunedin businesses, and several city councillors, are
throwing their arms wide open to oil exploration giant
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 company plans to explore for oil off Oamaru in late 2013,
after a global shortage of rigs delayed its exploration
The Anadarko group met local iwi representatives and Mayor
Dave Cull yesterday and are to meet the chamber and others
early this week.
Company representatives have visited Dunedin regularly over
the past few years.
Anadarko director of external communications Alan Seay said
the company had no announcements to make and was in the city
mostly on "community engagement" work this time.
Last night, Mr Cull said his fourth meeting with the company
had been "excellent, informative and interesting" and he
encouraged others to meet them.
"I took a few things away from it, but mostly that anything
that happens to Dunedin in a positive sense would be quite
some years away after exploration, even if they do have a
Supporters say the company could bring new industry, jobs and
income to Dunedin if it uses the city as its base.
Otago Chamber of Commerce chief executive John Christie
wanted to let Anadarko know many businesses were following
its progress and the red carpet was rolled out.
The city councillors listed in the advertisement are Crs Bill
Acklin, Syd Brown, John Bezett, Colin Weatherall, Andrew
Noone, Paul Hudson and Neil Collins.
Most did not return calls last night, but Cr Noone said it
was important to remember Dunedin was not the only place the
company could base itself.
He had not seen any information on the actual economic impact
the programme could have on Dunedin, but a round-the-clock
exploration operation would need resupplying and it would be
sensible to make sure it was based in Dunedin.
The chamber has previously expressed concern over "negative
comments" from the city council.
Cr Jinty MacTavish has expressed doubts about the economic
Last night, Cr MacTavish said she was "bemused" by the
"I would like to see justification for why the chamber thinks
its presence will bring such a positive economic impact with
"I'm not aware of any analysis on that and, if there has been
some on our region, I haven't seen it. "
The only places that had benefited from finds were where
there was heavy regulation of the industry and regional
redistribution of royalties, she said.