Maori Leaders meet with oil company executives

By Dean Nathan 7:06pm, Tuesday 11 December 2013 on Te Kāea – the Maori language news bulletin on Maori Television.

One of the world’s largest oil companies requested a meeting with Northland Maori leaders and MPs, and today their wish was granted at a meeting in Kerikeri.

Maori leader: “Why would you want to come to our country and plunder our resources? So we don’t want you to come here and plunder our resources. And we are going to be doing everything in our power to stop you doing that.”

Maori leaders didn’t mince their words to executives of Statoil who have a licence to explore the Reinga basin in Northland.

Haami Piripi (te Runanga o te Rarawa): “We need to remain steadfast and prepare our children and grandchildren for the future because it’s our own Government who has invited them here.”

Opponents to deep sea drilling say “this is the face of the monster with gold and silver teeth that was prophesised by our elders”.

Hone Harawira (MP Mana): “I’ve yet to attend one meeting in Northland that supports deep sea drilling, so despite the differing perspectives here today, I reiterate, not one meeting supported drilling for oil.”

Statoil executive: “These days we produce two million barrels per day of oil. We have around 21,000 employees and we are present in 35 countries.”

Statoil is a company created 40 years ago by the Norwegian Government to boost their pensioner funds and today it has amassed wealth to the value of $730 billion, but despite their opposition to Statoil, Labour MP Shane Jones wasn’t taking it lying down.

Shane Jones: “I’m saying to our people: Don’t dismiss companies like this outright, but rather, focus on the information they are providing us with, to see whether it will bring benefits.”

There is a time-frame of six years before Statoil begins drilling in the Reinga basin.

Dean Nathan, Te Kāea.