14 Aug 2013

No interest in conference for one iwi

6:39 am on 14 August 2013

An iwi fiercely opposed to deep-sea oil drilling says it has little interest in a Maori industry conference which will look at the potential for Maori to be involved in the oil, gas and mining sector.

The annual meeting is being held by the Te Putea Whakatupu Trust early next month and will include a guest speaker from an indigenous Alaskan-owned company which is already successfully involved in the mineral industry.

Guest speaker, Nana Development Corporation head David Springgate, says the company is owned by 13,000 indigenous Inupiat in northwest Alaska and employs 11,500 workers.

But Robert Ruha, a spokesperson for eastern Bay of Plenty tribe Te Whanau a Apanui which opposes deep-sea oil drilling, says his iwi's position will not change.

Mr Ruha says being involved in the oil, gas and mining sector would threaten its fishing and agricultural interests.

Te Whanau a Apanui held major sea protests when Brazilian oil company Petrobras was awarded exploration permits in the Raukumara Basin.