August 26, 2015
Social licence needed for Statoil drilling
Labour leader Andrew Little says Norwegian oil company Statoil needs to heed the concerns of local people as it assesses whether it should invest further in drilling for oil and gas in the waters off the far north.
A protest is planned in Whangarei on Friday morning, when the company holds a closed meeting with Northland Regional Council.
Mr Little says he met the company some time ago and spelt out that while it may have an exploration licence, it also needed to engage with the community if it wanted to win what he calls a social licence to operate.
"They are there by permission of communities and communities are entitled to withhold or withdraw their permission. They've got to understand that. So if Statoil is holding meetings, reaching out, it is important as many people as possible go and if you are opposed to it you have got to let them know that, you have got to let Statoil know you don't which to have that sort of activity in the rohe, in the area where you are," he says.
Andrew Little says the country needs to head towards a future free of fossil fuels, but we are still in a period of transition.
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