29 Jan 2016

Contentious oil well gets green light

2:12 pm on 29 January 2016

An Environment Court decision paves the way for an oil well to be drilled in an area where a Taranaki hapu says Treaty of Waitangi signatory Wiremu Kingi is buried.

Heritage New Zealand had refused Greymouth Petroleum an archaeological authority for its Kowhai D site in the Waitara Valley, on the grounds it would disrupt the "wider cultural landscape".

The Te Atiawa hapu Otaraua says Wiremu Kingi Te Rangitake was reburied in the Waitara Valley, some time after his death in 1882.

But the court upheld Greymouth's appeal, which argued the oil well would have no effect on cultural sites in the area.

The interim decision requires the parties to negotiate conditions for establishing the well within 20 days.