December 09, 2013
Northland iwi eye Statoil wave
Norwegian oil giant Statoil is in Tai Tokerau talking to iwi leaders and other interested groups about its plans for the exploration licence it has been granted off the Aupouri peninsula.
Statoil has committed to some seismic testing in the Reinga-Northland block which lies about 100 kilometres offshore, but it could be several years before it drills an exploration well.
Te Rarawa chair Haami Piripi met the company yesterday along with Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira and Greenpeace campaign director Mike Smith.
He says even though the majority of Maori in the north oppose off shore oil drilling, it’s important to give the company a hearing.
"It’s a huge wave that's coming upon ius and it would be folly to turn out back on it. Theses sorts of challenges you have to meet face to face and eye to eye, you can't turn your back on a challenge like this because it will just roll right over you, so we have to be prepared, we have to be organised in order to mitigate and optimise our position within this whole scenario," Mr Piripi says.
He says even though members of his group gave the Statoil representatives a fierce reception, they were able to respond in way that did not provoke or inflame the situation.
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