New Zealand Prime Minister John Key officially opened TAG Oil's expanded gas production plant at the Cheal-A site last Friday. About 100 others joined the festivities, including government ministers, representatives of Taranaki's Ngati Ruanui, North American analysts, principals from local elementary and high schools, landowners, and regional organizations who may soon be hosting other explorers, as New Zealand expands its search for oil and gas.
Prime Minister Key flew to Taranaki to show the government's full support of TAG Oil and New Zealand's commitment to its energy sector: "Taranaki is a magnificent example of the energy industry's potential to create employment and income. The region shows that if you get it right, there's huge potential for a safe, environmentally sensible and highly productive way of bringing wealth to New Zealand."
Debbie Ngarewa-Packer, South Taranaki's Ngati Ruanui iwi chief executive, was equally positive, thanking TAG for "investing in this nation and for investing in Ngati Ruanui." She continued with her praise of TAG's open communication with both the Taranaki iwi and Cheal's neighboring farmers from the start.
As TAG Oil COO Drew Cadenhead expressed at the opening, we in turn are fully appreciative of our neighbors, our valued local workers and the New Zealand government for their support. We've been in the business long enough to never take trust and mutual respect for granted.