26 Apr 2010

Iwi want earlier say on oil and gas prospecting

2:48 pm on 26 April 2010

Iwi have asked for input at the earliest stage of oil and gas prospecting ventures at a Waitangi Tribunal hearing into the management of the petroleum resource.

Iwi say the Crown Minerals Regime and the Resource Management Act give Maori no real say when oil companies want to drill.

The Waitangi Tribunal's 2003 petroleum report recommended the Crown and affected Maori negotiate for settlement over petroleum resources.

However Taranaki iwi Nga Ruahine and Ngati Kahungunu have made seperate claims over management of the resource.

Nga Ruahine says the Crown and councils, when considering prospecting, treat their concerns as at best additional or at worst an afterthought.

Nga Ruahine's Daisy Noble says exploration applications have accelerated from two a year to one per month this year and iwi do not have the capacity to respond.

She says companies should talk to affected hapu before applying.