19 Sep 2011

Oil lobby group dismisses legal challenge

10:20 pm on 19 September 2011

A petroleum exploration lobby group is dismissing legal action by Greenpeace and an East Cape iwi against the Government's decision to issue a deep sea oil exploration permit.

Last year the Brazilian energy giant Petrobras was awarded a permit to explore 12,000 square kms in the Raukumara Basin for gas and oil.

Greenpeace and te Whanau a Apanui have filed a judicial review in the High Court in Wellington, calling for the permit to be quashed on both environmental and Treaty of Waitangi grounds.

Petroleum Exploration and Production Association chief executive, John Pfahlert, says he doubts they will succeed. He says the only ground would be lack of consultation with iwi but the Government says consultation did take place.

"The Minister of Energy has already released a comprehensive dossier describing what consultation had taken place in 2008 and 2009 when they ran the blocks offer for the east coast," he says.