New Plymouth Mayor Neil Holdom says today's Government announcement ending offshore oil and gas exploration permits is a "kick in the guts".
"We really wanted to have the discussion and develop a plan before we came out with material policy changes which signal to the oil and gas businesses," Holdom told RNZ this morning.
"We need a plan and we need to create some certainty because we have 4000 directly employed people in Taranaki working in the sector and another 3000 to 3500 in related industries, so that's 7500 households."
Holdom said it would have been nice to have a plan in place before any announcement, despite the long lead-in time of 30 years.
"We've got industry participants making long-term decisions based on a long-term outlook. Our concern is, right now, Taranaki and the oil, gas and minerals are delivering royalties to the Government in excess of $300 million a year.
"We would have liked to develop a plan before hearing this news because it will create significant stress and anxiety in many of our households."
If the Government wanted to help Taranaki transition to a net zero economy it needed hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of investment.
"We have to accept this but we really need to work together," he said.