September 11, 2013
Maori locked out of offshore debate
The Greens says proposed changes to the law regulating oil exploration in New Zealand’s exclusive economic zone deny the public and Maori the right to have a say in the environment.
Co-leader Metiria Turei says Energy Minister Simon Bridges is trying to argue there are lower risks with oil exploration, but the oil well that blew out in the Gulf of Mexico was on an exploration permit.
She says it’s a standard National Party tactic to lock the public out of decisions, and follows a law making it illegal to protest against oil companies out at sea.
"So they really are wanting to make life as easy as possible for the oil companies so they’re locking people out. For Maori, given Maori are the ones that fought off Petrobras on the East Coast, this is very serious. It means Maori may be notified by Crown Minerals, but only in very narrow circumstances, otherwise they just won’t know that it’s happening," Ms Turei says.
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