Oil and gas industry supports around 11,000 jobs in New Zealand - including some seven thousand in Taranaki.
This means the announcement today from the Government that it will end future offshore oil and gas exploration is a real gut-punch for many, many workers.
However, CTU Secretary Sam Huggard told Greg Boyed that this move is actually a clever one on the part of the Government, as it means people will now be looking towards the future.
"The science is clear that there is no long-term future for oil and gas, that's inescapable, and the quicker we can have a plan in place for transition, the outcome for the workers will be much, much better."
He says that work such as laying new pipes to upgrade the water system is one area where oil drillers can be redeployed.
He says there is a long lead in time that means it will be easier for these workers to find new jobs.
"It's not like we are having to do this overnight."
LISTEN TO SAM HUGGARD TALK WITH GREG BOYED ABOVE