23 Jan 2012

Oil exploration company consulting with local communities

6:49 am on 23 January 2012

The international oil exploration company Apache Corporation which has started drilling test holes in Hawke's Bay and north west of Gisborne plans to keep in close contact with the communities there.

The company has been contracted by Tag Oil to drill on land in both regions.

Senior project adviser Alex Ferguson from Vancouver says there's been concern by Maori about the possible environmental effects of oil exploration.

But he says so far consultation meetings have gone well and he's been pleasantly surprised at how engaged locals have been and the range of questions asked.

Mr Ferguson says community meetings have provided the company with a great opportunity to learn about Maori culture and understand their anxieties.