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Press release from Marketwire

New Zealand Energy Spuds Waitapu-1 Well, Hires Operations Manager

Monday, August 20, 2012

New Zealand Energy Spuds Waitapu-1 Well, Hires Operations Manager07:30 EDT Monday, August 20, 2012VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Aug. 20, 2012) - New Zealand Energy Corp. ("NZEC" or the "Company") (TSX VENTURE:NZ)(OTCQX:NZERF) is pleased to announce that the Company has commenced drilling of the Waitapu-1 well, the first of an anticipated eight wells to be drilled by year-end 2012. In addition, NZEC continues to expand its in-country team and has appointed James Watchorn to the position of Operations Manager. On August 19, NZEC commenced drilling of the Waitapu-1 well at its Waitapu site, approximately 1.3 km south of the Company's Copper Moki site. Waitapu-1 has a target depth of 2,172 metres and is expected to drill through the Mt. Messenger formation. NZEC is permitting a number of new drill pads as the Company advances toward its objective of drilling eight conventional wells by year-end 2012 and increasing production to 3,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.James Watchorn joined NZEC as Operations Manager on July 30, bringing more than 15 years of technical experience in oilfield operations to the Company. He is a mechanical engineer experienced in all aspects of drilling, completions and production, along with facility and wellsite construction. James has worked for a number of oil and gas companies in both North America and New Zealand, most recently as Senior Petroleum Engineer for Origin Energy and Production and Facilities Manager for TAG Oil. As Operations Manager, James will focus on upstream operations, working with NZEC's General Manager Upstream Operations to design and execute the Company's exploration and production strategy.On behalf of the Board of DirectorsBruce McIntyre, Executive Director About New Zealand Energy Corp.NZEC is an oil and natural gas company engaged in the production, development and exploration of petroleum and natural gas assets in New Zealand. NZEC's property portfolio collectively covers two million acres of conventional and unconventional prospects in the Taranaki Basin and East Coast Basin of New Zealand's North Island. The Company's management team has extensive experience exploring and developing oil and natural gas fields in New Zealand and Canada, and takes a multi-disciplinary approach to value creation with a track record of successful discoveries. NZEC plans to add shareholder value by executing a technically disciplined exploration and development program focused on the onshore and offshore oil and natural gas resources in the politically and fiscally stable country of New Zealand. NZEC is listed on the TSX Venture Exchange under the symbol NZ and on the OTCQX International under the symbol NZERF. More information is available at www.newzealandenergy.com or by emailing info@newzealandenergy.com.Forward-looking StatementsThis news release contains certain forward-looking information and forward-looking statements within the meaning of applicable securities legislation (collectively "forward-looking statements"). The use of any of the words "continues", "expects", "continues", "increase", "advances", "will" and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. These statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results or events to differ materially from those anticipated in such forward-looking statements, including without limitation, the speculative nature of exploration, appraisal and development of oil and natural gas properties; uncertainties associated with estimating oil and natural gas resources; uncertainties in both daily and long-term production rates and resulting cash flow; volatility in market prices for oil and natural gas; changes in the cost of operations, including costs of extracting and delivering oil and natural gas to market, that affect potential profitability of oil and natural gas exploration; the need to obtain various approvals before exploring and producing oil and natural gas resources; the need to obtain government approval of work programs before exploring or developing the Petroleum Licenses; uncertainty in the timing of receipt of permits and the Company's ability to extend the permits if required; exploration hazards and risks inherent in oil and natural gas exploration; operating hazards and risks inherent in oil and natural gas operations; market conditions that prevent the Company from raising the funds necessary for exploration and development on acceptable terms or at all; global financial market events that cause significant volatility in commodity prices; unexpected costs or liabilities for environmental matters; competition for, among other things, capital, acquisitions of resources, skilled personnel, and access to equipment and services required for exploration, development and production; changes in exchange rates, laws of New Zealand or laws of Canada affecting foreign trade, taxation and investment; failure to realize the anticipated benefits of acquisitions; and other factors as disclosed in documents released by NZEC as part of its continuous disclosure obligations. Information concerning reserves may also be deemed to be forward looking as estimates imply that the reserves described can be profitably produced in the future. NZEC believes the expectations reflected in those forward-looking statements are reasonable, but no assurance can be given that these expectations will prove to be correct. Such forward-looking statements included in this news release should not be unduly relied upon. These statements speak only as of the date of this news release and NZEC does not undertake to update any forward-looking statements that are contained in this news release, except in accordance with applicable securities laws. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT: Bruce McIntyreNew Zealand Energy Corp.Executive DirectorNorth American toll-free: 1-855-601-2010ORJohn ProustNew Zealand Energy Corp.Chief Executive Officer & DirectorNorth American toll-free: 1-855-601-2010ORRhylin BailieNew Zealand Energy Corp.Vice President Communications & Investor RelationsNorth American toll-free: 1-855-601-2010info@newzealandenergy.comwww.newzealandenergy.comNeither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as such term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.