Campaigner to stand for oil refinery board

Operation Good Oil spokesman Karl Barkley. PHOTO: SANDY EGGLESTON
Operation Good Oil spokesman Karl Barkley. PHOTO: SANDY EGGLESTON
The man campaigning to have the Marsden Point oil refinery operating again is standing as a director for Channel Infrastructure, the company that owns the refinery.

Operation Good Oil spokesman Karl Barkley has been travelling throughout the country encouraging people to buy shares in the company to get shareholder control of Channel Infrastructure and reinstate the refinery.

Public shareholding had risen to 52.7% by early January. The company’s annual meeting will be held in Wellington on April 30.

Mr Barkley, who was in Gore recently, said he had been nominated for a vacant director’s position and was happy to stand.

"I feel the general public shareholders don’t have a voice. We need need somebody on the board that is keen on an oil refinery and making fuel."

He had also submitted a resolution for the meeting asking for dismantling the refinery to stop.

In the Channel Infrastructure notice of annual meeting document it is recommended shareholders do not vote for Mr Barkley. The document said while Mr Barkley’s interest in the company was appreciated, the board followed a comprehensive and rigorous process to find director candidates. The board had assessed the credentials he provided and concluded the experience and expertise he had did not align with the skills a board director should have.

"The board considers it currently has the right number of directors and with the right combination of experience and expertise, having regard to the board skills matrix and the board does not need additional directors which would add additional cost to the company."

Directors also recommended shareholders vote against reinstating the refinery.

In the Coalition’s Action Plan released last week, the government pledged to commission a study into New Zealand’s fuel security, including investigating the feasibility of reopening the Marsden Point oil refinery.