Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce made a stinging attack today on Labour and the Greens accusing them of being "snake oil salesmen" and by pretending they could stop development and still have more jobs.

"It's fairy tale stuff," he told delegates to the National Party conference in Auckland.
They had to be called out for their "intellectual dishonesty".

He was joined in the attack by Energy Minister Phil Heatley who expounded the virtues of the Marsden Point Oil refinery and the 100-year history of Taranaki's oil and gas exploration sector which co-existed alongside Taranaki Tourism.

Mr Joyce said the greatest risk for New Zealand was that it could "ankle-tap" itself by not developing because of small vocal minority who hated change and hated progress.


"It's about the mitigation of the risk, it's not about saying no. Every time you say no, it's less jobs."

He said Labour behaved different in Opposition to Government. It opposed the part sales of State owned enterprises but in Government had supported the privatisation of SOE subsidiaries which was only a subtle difference. It had also encouraged oil and gas exploration and celebrated the building of the Sky City casino.

"Those people are beneath contempt because they want to slow down New Zealand's development for their own political ends."

Mr Joyce said New Zealand had "to do a few things that make us uncomfortable."