Te Tai Tokerau MP survey highlights Māori opposition to deep sea oil drilling

By Harata Brown

The Tai Tokerau electorate has been vocal on deep sea oil drilling. Labour's Kelvin Davis says his very own survey findings show this.

According to Kelvin Davis, most Te Tai Tokerau constituents don't want deep sea oil drilling.

Kelvin Davis' Christmas Card Survey found that 86% of those surveyed opposed deep sea oil drilling. He says the survey is the first of its kind.

Davis says, “Although this isn't a scientific survey, this is the largest survey undertaken of this nature. 6000 people responded as to whether they supported deep sea oil drilling or not. There is no other survey as large as this. “

Kelvin Davis says most of the 6000 people in the survey are opposed to oil drilling. 9% said they needed more information to make a decision on the issue, while only 4% supported deep sea oil drilling.

He says, “I did this survey to find out what the people of Te Tai Tokerau think. The issue I have is that if a national survey is carried out, the concerns of Māori will be lost.”

There has been mounting anger in the region over the failure of Northland councils to notify tangata whenua of projects that affect their interests including oil drilling.

“This is the reason why I am the Te Tai Tokerau MP, to give this issue a voice,” says Davis.

Although the findings won't make a difference to the Government's plans, Kelvin Davis says the voice of Te Tai Tokerau will never be forgotten.