Seabed oil drilling imminent as giant rig arrives

Press Release – Climate change Iwi Leaders Group

Wednesday, June 12: Drilling in our seabed is about to start for the overseas oil giant OMV, despite the Government ban on new oil and gas permits.

The whole country saw Māori unite to protect the Foreshore and Seabed in 2004 and that led to the Labour government losing all of the Māori seats in Parliament says Mike Smith, speaking for the Climate Change Iwi Leaders Group.

“There is no denying widespread Māori opposition to fossil fuel exploration and over the last decade Maori have consistently stood up against big oil,” he says.

OMV has most of the current permits, with plans to drill 12 new wells off the Taranaki coast, and 10 wells in the Great South Basin in summer.

Smith says the iwi leaders group will work constructively with government to transition society away from a fossil fuel based economy but exploration must be halted.

“When the world’s largest seismic exploration ship arrived to start blasting off the Taranaki Coast in November 2017, the National Iwi Chairs Forum united to oppose all seismic testing and oil exploration in the waters of Aotearoa,” he says.

“Last month the Iwi leaders climate group declared a national climate emergency, and yesterday Auckland Council followed suit. We are witnessing the sea change with councils across the country making commitments to action on climate change”

“We are brave enough as a nation to support innovative leadership, and can make a great start by halting the new explorations.”


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