15 Aug 2013

East Coast iwi considers legal action over oil exploration

9:20 am on 15 August 2013

Street protests and legal action are likely from an East Coast iwi that says consultation with Maori over a proposed oil exploration site north of Gisborne has not been thorough.

Gisborne District Council this week gave approval to the Canadian company Tag Oil, to search for more oil on the coast.

That means an exploratory well will be drilled near Te Karaka.

A spokesperson for local iwi Nga Ariki Kaiputahi, Marise Lant, said the environmental effects of drilling are of serious concern to their iwi, and consultation has been poor.

She said the iwi wants an independent assessment of the situation carried out and is considering all options including demonstrations and a legal challenge against the oil exploration permit.