A Taranaki business leader has asked the Government to "work with us, not against us" following its announcement to end offshore oil and gas exploration.

Taranaki Chamber of Commerce chief executive Arun Chaudhari said Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's call was a "huge disappointment" for his group, and also would have been to the energy region's hydrocarbon industry and most of its community.

The oil and gas industry was responsible for $1.57 billion of Taranaki's total GDP, and directly employed 4340 full-time equivalent roles.

Overall, it was linked to the creation of 7070 jobs in the region and more than $300 million in royalties for the Government.


"We strongly agree that climate change is a major issue and we need to reduce net emissions, but this decision will not achieve that," Chaudhari said.

"We do not believe it's worth doing something just for symbolism, if it means a worse outcome for the environment and economy."

Petroleum was produced to meet growing global demand and not doing so here meant other countries would produce it instead, leaving New Zealand to import it at a higher cost, he said.

Chaudhari said Taranaki's lifestyle had been "a model" for the country and largely owed to benefits derived from the oil and gas industry.

"This decision has sent a very negative signal to the hydrocarbon industry, which will simply take their investment elsewhere in the medium to long term and significantly reduce their short-term investment in New Zealand," he said.

"Unfortunately, we have not seen any consultation with the business community in Taranaki, which is a key stakeholder in this decision.

"We again urge the government to work with us, not against us."

Earlier, New Plymouth's Mayor Neil Holdom called the decision a "kick in the guts for the long-term future of Taranaki's economy.

"Thousands of households in Taranaki depend on the oil and gas industry and, while we all want to see a more sustainable future for New Zealand, we had expected to be having a comprehensive conversation about a planned and staged transition to a low-carbon economy over the next 20 to 30 years with central government, local government, iwi, the industry and other stakeholders actively contributing," he said.

Holdom said the decision sent a message to some of Taranaki's major investors and employers that they did not have a long-term future in New Zealand.

"These are businesses that serve our community well, demonstrate leadership in environmental stewardship, community investment, safety and operational excellence."

"I have spoken to the Minister of Energy Megan Woods and ensured she is clear that we want to know what the plan is to support our people, what the plan is to power our economy, what the plan is to support our businesses, what is the plan to support our communities through this period of transition.

"Having generated billions in GDP and crown mineral royalties for NZ Inc over the years, our people will want to know what investments this Government will be making to mitigate the expected impacts on our household incomes and employment in what has been and continues to be the provincial rock star economy."

Last month, Taranaki's business and tourism development agency told the Herald the region was already expecting a gradual move away from reliance on petroleum products.

"A plan to utilise the extensive expertise of the region's energy sector to progress future energy technologies is underway, linked to the regional economic development strategy," Venture Taranaki chief executive Stuart Trundle said.