12 Jun 2012

Crown will keep iwi in the loop on oil and gas

7:18 am on 12 June 2012

The Crown says it is committed to keeping iwi informed when companies are given the green light to look for oil and gas.

Firms are being invited to apply for exploration permits for 23 areas at sea and on land.

The Ministry of Economic Development (MED) says companies are also required to keep talking to tribes about their search plans.

MED petroleum and minerals division general manger David Binnie says while some information is commercially sensitive, the Crown wants to be as transparent as possible.

He says his officials are putting in the effort to get out and about and wearing down shoe leather to educate people about oil and gas exploration plans.

Mr Binnie says he has found people have some understanding of the process, the risks and how well energy companies manage those risks.

He says the exploration permits are likely to be offered by the end of the year.