18 Jun 2015

Call for better engagement with Māori over mining

8:44 am on 18 June 2015

An Australian mining expert says there needs to be better regulations around how the extractive industry engages with Māori.

Anti-oil and gas exploration protesters arriving in Waitangi.

Anti-oil and gas exploration protesters in Waitangi. Photo: RNZ

A Far North hapū group, Te Ahipara Kōmiti Takutaimoana, says there needs to be more engagement with Māori over mining, oil and gas exploration.

Director of the Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining at The University of Queensland, Professor Saleem Ali said the regulations were not as structured as they were in Australia.

He said that made it harder for companies to talk with tāngata whenua about oil, mining and gas exploration.

"I think there needs to be much greater regulations - how extractive industries engagement occurs. Currently it is handled through the Environmental Assessment processes, but perhaps there needs to be more specific regulations."

Mr Ali said despite that there was a much greater awareness of Māori culture in New Zealand compared to other indigenous cultures.