Sapmi leaders tell Statoil to stop trampling on Māori rights

By Dean Nathan

Leaders of the Sápmi nation in Norway have told directors of the Statoil company not to trample on the indigenous rights of Māori. 

A contingent from Aotearoa was shocked when meeting with Sápmi leaders as they believe there is total support in New Zealand for Statoil mining here.

Sonny Harrison of Te Parewhero says, "That's what they said to us and we were shocked by that.  We showed them letters of opposition from Ngāti Kuri, Ngāti Kahu and Te Rarawa."

The indigenous people of Norway were shown footage of the "Waiho Papa Moana" protests that took place from Cape Reinga to the south, which was enough evidence to swing Sápmi support behind their indigenous brothers and sisters.

Te Ahipara Kōmiti Takutaimoana member Catherine Murupaenga Ikenn states, "Māori are partners with the Crown.  We're not meant to be subservient to the Crown's wishes.  So if there's something the Crown is able to do, like grant an exploration permit for example, they should be talking in good faith with Māori about whether we want that to happen or not and we feel it hasn't happened."

The Sápmi nation has 29 seats on the Norwegian Parliament which owns 50% of Statoil with the rest of its shareholding held by the general public.  

At the recent AGM, Statoil executives have been advised by the heads of the Saami nation not to trample on the rights of indigenous people of Aotearoa.

Subsequently, a claim has been filed with the Waitangi Tribunal on this matter.