MP speaks up for iwi over oil operations

Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia has challenged the Government over petroleum and mineral operations - saying iwi need to have bigger role in who's selected to look for oil.

In Parliament, the Te Tai Hauauru MP said tribes need to be able to assess the health, safety and environmental requirements of permit holders who will look for and extract resources.

She raised the issue on behalf of Ngati Ruanui.

Ms Turia asked how the Government would respond to the Taranaki iwi's concerns that not recognising tribes in the permitting process could create frustration and barriers and drive opposition.

But Government Minister, Steven Joyce, responded by saying iwi are recognised in respect of some oil and mineral operations - as are other New Zealanders.

He said new measures are being proposed to strengthen the relationship between tribes and oil and mining companies.

But Mr Joyce said the job of assessing health, safety and environmental requirements will stay with the Crown.

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