Hikoi Opposing Deep Sea Oil Endorsed by Hapū Leaders

Press Release – Statoil Out

Hikoi to Waitangi Opposing Deep Sea Oil Endorced by Northern Hapū Leaders

Today northern Maori environmental activists released details of a hikoi that will converge in Kawakawa before heading to Waitangi to co-incide with Government politicians’ arrival on Waitangi Day. The focus of the hikoi is in opposition to Statoil’s seismic oil exploration off western Northland and the dubious way the Government has bulldozed deep sea oil permits through.

Tribal representatives from the Far North, Hokianga, Kaipara, Auckland and Whangarei will attend.

“Anyone who is concerned about this kaupapa is welcome to join the hikoi,” says veteran activist Mike Smith.

“It’s pretty clear the consultation over Statoil’s deep sea oil permits were fake from start to finish. What we have witnessed comes out of a corporate handbook on how to screw over the natives. We have a responsibility to look after the land and sea for current and future generations. Important questions from elders continue unanswered”, Said Mike Smith.

Ngati Hine tribal leader Pita Tipene is also critical of the Government consultation process, “The Government has had minimal consultation, comprising of a letter to iwi runanga and some presentations at hui that were patronising and evasive. We also know that the broader public have been entirely locked out of the decision making processes. All this is disrespectful and deceitful when we are talking about the impacts of some of the biggest issues facing the people of this country and indeed the world.”

Last year’s report from the Waitangi Tribunal recognised that Ngāpuhi never ceded sovereignty to the British Crown said Mr Tipene.

Since the Foreshore and Seabed Act was passed, rights to explore and drill what lays beneath massive areas of seabed and continental shelf has been handed to corporations.

“So why does the Government think they control the entire decision making over deep sea oil exploration and drilling? Our customary authority has been recognised and therefore the affected coastal hapū are the decision makers,” he said.

This position has been endorsed by Sonny Tau who has said that iwi don’t have the ability to make binding decisions on hapū in regard to deep water oil drilling.

Hikoi details in full are attached

Various hapū and community groups will converge at Te Rapunga Marae at Waiomio near Kawakawa, 6:00pm on 4 February.

The hikoi will arrival at Te Tiriti o Waitangi 1840 Marae at Waitangi at 12:00 noon 5 February.

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