Waitangi Tribunal: NZ Govt breaches Te Tiriti, StatOil must Go Home

Waitangi Tribunal legal action aims to stop Statoil

Waitangi Tribunal: claims made that NZ Government is in breach of Te Tiriti and that StatOil must release its deep sea drilling permit.

Waitangi Tribunal: claims made that NZ Government is in breach of Te Tiriti and that StatOil must release its deep sea drilling permit.

Friday, 22 May 2015, 11:42 am
Press Release: Taikaha Communications
Waitangi Tribunal legal action aims to stop Statoil

A new Waitangi Tribunal claim is alleging breaches of Te Tiriti o Waitangi due to the New Zealand Government’s failure to actively seek the prior and informed consent of Maori tribes in relation to the issuing of deep sea oil drilling permits.

Filed today, the legal action is being taken by Te Ahipara Komiti Takutaimoana, who are the marae and hapū mandated tribal organisation that manage all issues concerning the marine environment for Te Rarawa.

Te Rarawa is one of the Far North iwi that strongly opposes the current deep sea oil exploration in Te Reinga Basin by Statoil, Norway’s biggest company.

The claim also alleges breaches of Te Tiriti o Waitangi by the New Zealand Government due to failing in the duty of the correct consultation process with Maori rights holders.

The decision to go to the Waitangi Tribunal demonstrates the resolve of the people of Te Hiku, and is a result of widespread opposition to deep sea oil drilling and ongoing discussions amongst northern tribal groups.

Te Reinga is one of the most sacred sites in Aotearoa -­ not only to Maori people -­ but also as a special place of pilgrimage for all New Zealanders and visitors alike.

As one of the Kaitiaki for the marine area, Te Ahipara Komiti Takutaimoana Chairperson Patau Tepania says the iwi wants Statoil to surrender their permits and go home.

“Stopping exploration for oil is vital if we are to provide a better more secure and fairer future for ourselves and for future generations.

Given expert climate change predictions and advice – fossil fuel exploration makes no sense,” he says.

An iwi delegation that includes Ahipara kaumatua and member of Te Ahipara Komiti Takutaimoana, Te Wani Otene, are currently in Norway in order to formalise a relationship of joint political and moral co-­ operation with the indigenous Sami people there.

On Tuesday the group also attended one of the biggest events on the oil calendar -­ Statoil’s AGM -­ where they had the opportunity to speak to the Board and CEO Eldar Saetre.

Immediately after the AGM, the President of the Sami Parliament of Norway, Aili Keskitalo, released a statement calling for Statoil to respect Māori rights.

She said it would be an embarrassment for Norway if its largest state-­owned company had a hand in undermining rights that are recognised through the United Nations Declaration of Indigenous Rights.

It would also not be in Statoil’s interests to build a reputation as a company that is contributing to the violation of indigenous rights, she said.

ENDS

According to Catherine Murupaenga-Ikenn “There’s an incorrect statement in there: our AKT mandate isn’t for the whole Te Rarawa iwi.

“The Kōmiti is the mandated group of Tangata Kaitiaki who manage the Customary Fisheries interests of ngā hapū o Ahipara. The area of interest is from Hukatere south to Titahi just north Herekino Harbour.”

Te Rarawa Taiao Website

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