New Zealand's main opposition political party will reverse the government's ban on new offshore oil and gas exploration permits if it wins this month's national election.

The National Party said in its energy policy that it considers natural gas to be "a strategic resource essential for the security of our electricity supply and for high temperature industrial processes".

The use of natural gas results in lower greenhouse gas emissions than petrol or coal, added National.

The party said it will reverse the government’s April 2018 decision to ban the issue of new offshore oil and gas exploration permits.

It will also repeal the Resource Management Act, meaning applications for new oil and gas extraction "will not be bogged down in the consenting processes".


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In addition, it will begin work on the regulatory changes needed to import LNG to meet essential energy needs if domestic supply is insufficient.

Finally, National said it believes the Emissions Trading Scheme is the right place to address greenhouse gas emissions.