Engineers warn of imminent oil shock
4:00AM Tuesday Oct 21, 2008
By Mathew Dearnaley

Engineers are warning politicians that the lull in oil prices will be short-lived, and New Zealand is headed for sustained job losses unless it boosts energy efficiency efforts.

Senior North Shore City transport strategist Archer Davis, speaking on behalf of Engineers for Social Responsibility, said a conservative estimate of a 4 per cent annual decline in oil supply raises the prospect of a 12 per cent contraction of New Zealand's economy over 15 years.

"We are looking at losses of jobs, people losing their income, we are looking at severe issues here," he told Auckland Regional Council members in a call to action after a joint conference of the engineers' group and the Sustainable Energy Forum on how to prepare for oil shortages.

"It will have a major impact and it will be ongoing - it won't be short term."

Mr Davis, a civil engineer with 30 years of managing local government services, said his calculations were based on an International Energy Agency indication three years ago of a 50 per cent chance of reaching global peak oil production in 2012.

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