An iwi and Greenpeace have been awarded a judicial review of the Government's granting of a permit to explore for oil off the East Cape.
Te Whanau-a-Apanui, Greenpeace and the Crown will put their cases at a defended hearing in the High Court in Wellington in June next year.
The eastern Bay of Plenty tribe and Greenpeace are seeking an order for the permit to be quashed on both environmental and Treaty of Waitangi grounds.
Court documents obtained by Te Manu Korihi show the Government denies it unlawfully granted the permit.
The papers show the legal team for the Minister of Energy and Resources say there was no obligation to consult with the iwi about the granting of the permit to the Brazilian company, Petrobras.
Te Whanau-a-Apanui and Greenpeace have been keeping up the pressure on the Government and Petrobras - launching a protest flotilla and at one stage swimming in front of a survey vessel earlier this year.