The Labour Party's Maori Affairs spokesperson has criticised the issue of a licence to a Brazilian state-owned company to prospect for oil off the North Island's East Coast.
Parekura Horomia told Waatea News Energy Minister Gerry Brownlee failed to consult Maori before signing over the Raukumara Basin to Petrobras International.
The Government announced on Thursday it had granted an exploration permit for oil and gas off East Cape to Petrobras.
Mr Horomia says the Government did not talk to the iwi leaders whom the matter is relevant to.
He says it was announced suddenly, without being discussed in Parliament, and the Maori Party did not say anything about it.