13 Nov 2012

Crown says oil money does trickle down

11:00 am on 13 November 2012

The Crown is countering an iwi's argument that oil drilling doesn't pump money back into local economies.

A Taranaki tribe Ngaruahine says the resource is taken out of the province - and tangata whenua don't get a cent back.

But a Ministry of Economic Development official who deals with iwi, Pieri Munro, says this is a criticism that keeps coming up.

He says Government figures show money does flow back into communities.

Some people think just 5% of oil money goes into Government coffers - when the figure is actually 42%.

Mr Munro says that money is then spent on hospitals and roads throughout the country.

The Ministry of Economic Development says the doubters should read a Taranaki Regional Development agency report - which spells out the benefits to the province.

Mr Munro says the paper shows that region alone has created about 7000 direct and indirect jobs - and that's not including people employed by service providers, such as motels, hotels, cafes and restaurants.

Government officials are working on plans to open up several on and offshore areas to oil exploration companies, and Mr Munro is leading a round of consultation with about 70 iwi.