Ramping up oil and gas exploration will boost revenue by millions and help to fund, says Energy and Resources Minister Phil Heatley.
The Government is looking to increase exploration of oil and gas reserves in other parts of the country following the success of the industry in Taranaki, where it had created about 3000 jobs, he told TV One's Q&A today.
By increasing exploration revenue from the sector could be increased from $3 billion to $12 billion yearly and the money could help fund schools, hospitals and paid-parental leave, he said.
"There are other regions in the country where oil and gas reserves are - we're sure about that.
"If Taranaki, over all these years can environmentally and in a safety-conscious way have a big oil industry sitting neatly beside dairy and tourism, there's no reason why other regions can't do that," he said.
The North Island's east coast and South Island's west coast are areas of interest.
In Taranaki there the industry was worth 3700 local jobs that have an average yearly salary of $70,000 a year, said Mr Heatley.
Mr Heatley also said he had "no concerns" about hydraulic fracturing, where water, sand and chemicals are blasted into the ground to extract gas or petroleum.
It has been occurring in Taranaki for 20 years without problems, he said.
- APNZBy Abby Gillies Email Abby