New survey shows increased support for New Zealand’s oil and gas industry

The public’s view towards New Zealand’s oil and gas industry has substantially improved over the last three years, according to the latest survey on behalf of the Petroleum Exploration and Production Association of New Zealand (PEPANZ).

The UMR survey of 1,165 respondents was conducted in late 2020. Some of the key findings include:

  • Around a quarter (24%) of respondents had a favourable opinion of the oil and gas industry, up from 21% last year and the highest on record since the survey began in March 2016.
  • A major decline in people with an unfavourable view of the industry (halved from 32% in 2017 to just 16%).
  • 68% agree it is better to produce natural gas here in New Zealand rather than import it.

“It’s pleasing to see increasing support with five out of six respondents having a favourable or neutral view,” says PEPANZ CEO John Carnegie.

“It shows that New Zealanders sensibly recognise the important role oil and natural gas play in our economy and society.

“The majority of respondents agree with the economic benefits of oil and natural gas, and their importance to households and businesses (60% agree to 9% disagree). This suggests that any ban on new gas connections would be unpopular with the wider public.

“The role of natural gas in supporting and enabling renewable electricity will be crucial to - and beyond - our transition.

“This has been recognised by the Climate Change Commission who see this role for natural gas continuing until at least 2050.

“This is part of a new focus from us on explaining our sector’s role in a lower emissions world, constructively partnering with Government to achieve a balanced energy mix.

“Our educational website Energy Mix, the social media campaign Energy Voices, the skills development work by Energy Skills, and our publications are all part of this effort.”

A full copy of the survey results is available at