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PETROBRAS UPDATE: Iwi to complain to UN about oil survey

www.odt.co.nz/news/national/156094/iwi-complain-un-about-oil-surveying

Iwi to complain to UN about oil survey

Home » News » National
Wed, 13 Apr 2011

Maori iwi tonight decided to officially complain to the United Nations over the Government’s decision to allow a South American company to survey for oil off the coast of the East Cape.

Te Whanau a Apanui met with legal teams and Greenpeace protesters to consider their options in response to the Orient Explorer, owned by Brazilian state-owned oil company Petrobras, carrying out seismic testing in the Raukumara Basin under a five-year licence granted by the Government.

NZPA understands lawyers representing the iwi plan to take a legal strategy based on indigenous rights to the United Nations in response to the surveying.

The legal team from Te Whanau a Apanui was not immediately available for comment.

Greenpeace protestors were still in the water tonight despite police warnings and had received overwhelming support from the public, spokesman Dean Baigent-Mercer said.

Police yesterday visited the protest fleet in navy rigid-hull inflatable boats and served the skippers notices under the Maritime Transport Act, warning them to stay at least 200m away from the Orient Explorer and a second Petrobras vessel, Ocean Pioneer, or face a fine of up to $10,000 or 12 months in prison.

Petrobras New Zealand project head Marco Toledo said yesterday the company had met with East Cape iwi Te Whanau a Apanui, and would continue to engage with it.

“They haven’t given us the permission to drill, but they gave us the opportunity to be friends.”

The Orient Explorer had collected some data but the research phase would take three-and-a-half years and the protest would not disrupt the long-term plan.

Mr Toledo said he could not guarantee there would be no adverse environmental effects if drilling went ahead.

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April 13, 2011 - Posted by | Fighting corruption in NZ, Human rights, Internationally significant information

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