A party for invited guests being held at the Marsden Point Oil Refinery on Friday to celebrate its closure has been slammed as ‘hypocritical, insensitive, and insulting,’ by Social Credit party leader Chris Leitch.
A select group of guests has been invited to attend a function to ‘celebrate the refinery’s proud legacy’, even though it has not been closed yet.
‘That function is an insult to the 600 workers and their families who will be without an income due to the closure,’ said Mr. Leitch.
‘It’s an insult to nearly 100 mariners whose jobs will go when the two coastal tankers delivering fuel around the rest of the country are no longer required. It’s an insult to hundreds of businesses across Northland that will face additional economic stress due to the $800 million income annually the refinery provided that no longer be
spent in the community. It’s an insult to every water user in Whangarei who will face massive increases in their water charges as a result of the council spending mega bucks to ensure it had the capacity to supply the refinery with water which it will no longer use. It’s an insult to the future of young people who want to become highly skilled and qualified tradespeople but will no longer have the refinery as their training ground. It’s insensitive to the workers’ immediate and wider families and the social upheaval many of them will go through as those workers move overseas for jobs. The function on Friday is a celebration for the CEO of the successful accomplishment of the job she was sent here to do – close the refinery.’
Mr. Leitch encouraged invitees to boycott the event, saying their attendance would be hypocritical. Attendance would be seen as supporting the closure and ‘all the damage it will cause to the Northland community so that a few shareholders can bank bigger profits at the cost of the community,’ he said.
A petitiion started by the Social Credit leader calling on the government to keep the refinery operational languishes on the desk of Parliament’s Petitions Committee despite having been presented to Parliament by MP Shane Reti three months ago. 18,300 people signed the petition.
Image Credit: Follash, Public Domain