Act would repeal fresh climate change legislation and the ban on new offshore oil and gas exploration permits, while opening up "low-value" conservation land for development.

The party tonight released its policy in the environment space, favouring a "no-nonsense climate change plan" in place of the recently introduced Zero Carbon Act and the Emissions Trading Scheme.

Act's energy and resources spokesman, Simon Court, said while his party believed New Zealand must play its part on climate change, any response must be simple to administer, "politically durable", and effective.

Its proposed plan would tie New Zealand's carbon price to the prices paid by the country's top five trading partners.

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"This will show the world New Zealand is doing its bit. It is a simple and effective response to climate change."

Court said scrapping the ban on new offshore oil and gas exploration permits would give industry confidence to invest and sustain high-value jobs.

"We desperately need a cheap and plentiful supply of clean energy to power our recovery and the industries that generate the wealth to pay for healthcare, education and infrastructure," he said.

"But, on current estimates, we will run out natural gas reserves in seven years."

"Natural gas is vital in the short to medium-term to support a transition away from coal. It's cheaper and quicker to bring on stream than new hydropower."

Leader David Seymour has also proposed a "streamlined process" for consenting projects and granting land access, while protecting areas with high biodiversity and conservation values.

"It takes too long – between five and 10 years – to get permits and resource consents to open a new mine," he said.

"Only investors with the deepest pockets would consider it. Companies are unlikely to risk investing here, especially given the rug was pulled out from under the oil and gas sector in 2018."

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Act's process would mean the Department of Conservation and the Environmental Protection Authority had to consider and decide on applications within 12 years.

Opening up development in areas deemed of low conservation value could free up resources to focus on "high conservation" areas, Seymour said.

Opening up development in areas deemed of low conservation value could free up resources to focus on
Opening up development in areas deemed of low conservation value could free up resources to focus on "high conservation" areas, Act leader David Seymour says. Photo / Mark Mitchell

"Companies will also be required to put up hefty bonds to cover the risk of unforeseen events and final closure. Restoration will be undertaken not at the end of the mine's life, but progressively.

"We will also require companies make investments to produce biodiversity dividends that will exceed what is currently mandated by DOC and regional councils, and what government can afford."

The policies are markedly at odds with those of the Green Party, which wants to see New Zealand end coal use by 2030 and industrial fossil gas use by 2035, and stop all new mining on conservation land.

The Māori Party also wants a mining ban on conservation land - along with an even more ambitious decarbonisation programme that would see all oil and gas extraction halted within five years, and sites decommissioned by 2030.

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Labour is meanwhile set on pushing ahead with emissions reduction efforts locked in under its Zero Carbon Act, with an aim of 100 per cent renewable energy by 2030.

National is sticking by the general priorities it had when it signed New Zealand up to the Paris accord five years ago – that's reducing emissions "in a manner that does not threaten food production".

It'll also ask the commission to review its methane targets, which have proven unpopular with many in the farming sector, and further wants to limit the use of forestry to offset fossil fuels.