A new Waitangi Tribunal claim has been filed which alleges breaches of the Treaty of Waitangi by Government in their failure to seek informed consent of iwi Māori in relation to the issuing of deep sea oil permits.
Te Rarawa iwi strongly opposes the current deep sea oil exploration in Te Reinga Basin by Norwegian company, Statoil. Te Reinga (Cape Reinga) is spiritually significant, considered one of the most sacred places in Aotearoa.
Legal action was filed by Te Ahipara Kōmiti Takutaimoana yesterday, the committee mandated to manage all issues concerning Te Rarawa's marine environment.
Te Ahipara Kōmiti Takutaimoana chair Patau Tepania explains, as one of the kaitiaki (guardians) for this marine area, the iwi wants Statoil to surrender their permits and go home.
Earlier this week, a delegation of iwi representatives, including Ahipara kaumātua Te Wani Otene, attended Statoil's AGM in Norway, where the group had the opportunity to speak to CEO Eldar Saetre and the Board.
The President of Sami Parliament in Norway, Aili Keskitalo, released a statement immediately after the AGM calling for Statoil to respect Māori rights.