19 May 2015

Protests at Statoil meeting

8:28 pm on 19 May 2015

Norway's biggest oil giant will be asked to 'ship out' of New Zealand's Te Reinga Basin at its annual general meeting tonight.

A small Māori delegation from Te Hiku o te Ika will fulfil the last goal of its trip to the Scandinavian country when it confronts Statoil at the hui.

The delegation to Norway.

The delegation to Norway. Photo: Taikaha delegation

The roopu of three is now in the city of Stavanger, considered to be Norway's oil capital, preparing to tell Statoil management that their ships are not welcome in New Zealand's waters.

The Taikaha delegation made the journey on behalf of a number of hapū and iwi, including Ngāti Kurī, Ngāti Kahu and Te Parewhero, who all vehemently oppose the oil company's plans to carry out deep sea oil exploration.

A kaumatua, Te Wani Otene, who is part of the delegation, said he would be telling Statoil on behalf of Te Parewhero to surrender their permits as soon as possible.

"We did not consent to Statoil exploring for oil in our territory," Mr Otene said.

"Te Ahipara Komiti Takutaimoana is taking a claim to the Waitangi Tribunal to protect our moana, to protect Te Oneroa a Tōhē."

Mike Smith and Hinekaa Mako will also attend Statoil's annual general meeting and deliver a speech.

Over the past 10 days the delegation has been in Norway forging relationships with the indigenous Sámi peoples, seeking moral, political and strategic legal support to demand a future free of deep sea oil drilling.