4 Feb 2015

Maori activists have message for MPs

8:02 pm on 4 February 2015

A group of Maori environmental campaigners opposed to oil drilling says lobbying the government to stop the practice won't work, so it plans to deliver another message to politicians at Waitangi.


Statoil plans to explore in the shaded area off the New Zealand coast. Photo: Supplied

It strongly objects to the overseas company, Statoil, conducting seismic oil exploration off western Northland.

The anti-mining group is marching from Te Rerenga Wairua, and will arrive at Te Tii Marae tomorrow.

Spokesperson and veteran activist Mike Smith was clear about what the group planned to tell politicians when they got there.

He said they know the government won't put a halt to oil drilling.

"So we won't bother to press them on that. We'll take that fight directly into Norway which we plan to do, we're going to be sending a delegation into Norway. Statoil's owned 67 percent by the people of Norway, there's some democratic leverage there in terms of the people of Noway hopefully coming on board and seeing our situation," he said.

Mr Smith said instead the government here can and should consider alternative renewable energy sources other than oil drilling.

He said that would create more jobs than the fossil fuel industry.

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