• John Luxton

Minister of Competition, Hon John Luxton today said he has asked his officials to report to him on the way the Resource Management Act may be used to thwart competition in the oil industry.

This follows media reports that one of the existing oil companies has objected under the RMA to a new service station being built in Upper Hutt by new oil industry player Fletcher Energy. The existing player operates two of its own stations in Upper Hutt.

"New Zealanders deserve a competitive oil industry. It is good to see two new entrants proposing to enter into the service station market. This can only be good for New Zealand families and businesses.

"Although anybody has a right to lay an objection, it would be of concern if any existing oil industry players were attempting to use the RMA to frustrate any new operators building new service stations. It has previously been brought to my attention that this has sometimes happened when other businesses such as new supermarkets have tried to seek consents.

"It is important that our competition framework delivers effective competition. This year we have see much progress in a range of areas. I hope that existing players will not attempt to frustrate competition so that we will see progress in the oil industry as well.

"When travelling around the country talking with business, the impact and implementation of the RMA has been of considerable concern. The Government has listened and we have been doing work on this issue. As part of this, I hope to shortly release a case study assessment of the impact of the RMA on business, which may be of assistance as the Government seeks address the conserns raised.