The oil and gas industry is looking to win over Kiwi hearts as it takes its fight against the Government's discontinuation of exploration on to television screens for the first time.

The Petroleum Exploration and Production Association of New Zealand (PEPANZ) has bought the 9.40pm slot on TVNZ 1 to air a 30-second ad, driving home some of the points raised in its Energy Voices social media campaign, which has been online since last year.

The campaign is set to run on TV for the next month from tonight.

"The advertising brings the issue into New Zealanders' homes and spell out the real consequences for them," says PEPANZ chief executive Cameron Madgwick.


The move takes the message straight to older, middle New Zealand demographic, which continues to have high levels of free-to-air television consumption.

PEPANZ first launched the campaign on social media to highlight what it sees as the potential economic and social impact of the Government's move to ban future oil and gas exploration in New Zealand.

The campaign aims for the heart, telling the stories of Taranaki residents who have been and are likely to be impacted by the changes.

Ending New Exploration: The Community Impact

The decision to end new oil & natural gas exploration in New Zealand has already had an impact on real people and their families, particularly in Taranaki. Here are some of their stories. #EnergyVoicesNZ

Posted by NZ Energy Voices on Tuesday, 20 November 2018

But PEPANZ warns that the ban is likely also have an impact beyond those who have come to rely on the oil and gas industry for work.

"Last year, New Zealanders saw sky-high wholesale electricity prices as a result of low water levels in the hydro-lakes combined with a gas shortage in the North Island. That was a short-term example of what running out of natural gas will do to the cost of living," says Madgwick.

"We hope that the Government listens to the voices of many New Zealanders who are calling for a re-think."

At this stage, it looks unlikely the Government will backtrack on the ban.

"The fact is that climate change is real, it's happening and we need to take action," said Energy Minister Megan Woods.


"If we keep putting all our eggs in the fossil fuel basket, we will be left high and dry as the world changes. This Government isn't going to let that happen – we're planning now to move our economy to a more sustainable, clean energy future that will support good jobs and high incomes for years to come."

She added that the people of Taranaki have known about these changes for years, and this is part of the reason why local leaders have been focusing on moving toward clean energy, more tourism, future foods and the Māori economy in a bid to become less reliant on fossil fuels.

Woods went on to say that the taps aren't going to be turned off immediately.

"It's a long-term transition," she said.

"We've still got 10 years' worth of existing natural gas reserves and we're protecting all 100,000 square kilometres of existing permitted exploration area – that's an area roughly the size of the North Island."