Heritage NZ ordered to pay oil company 120k

5:39 pm on 16 May 2016

Heritage New Zealand has been ordered to pay almost $120,000 to an oil company after it lost a court battle over the burial place of Treaty of Waitangi signatory Wiremu Kingi.

In 2014 Heritage New Zealand refused Greymouth Petroleum an archaeological authority for its Kowhai D site in the Waitara Valley in Taranaki, on the grounds it would disrupt the "wider cultural landscape".

The company appealed against the decision to the Environment Court in 2015 and in January this year the court found drilling would have no effect on cultural sites in the area.

In deciding costs today, the court said Heritage New Zealand favoured or gave the impression of favouring the position of the Te Atiawa hapu Otaraua which believes Wiremu Kingi Te Rangitake was reburied in the Waitara Valley, some time after his death in 1882.

Court documents reveal Greymouth Petroleum incurred $216,000 in costs, but sought only 60 percent of that.

Heritage New Zealand Acting Chief Executive Sue Powell said it was considering the decision at present and further actions - if any - would follow those discussions.

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