Iwi Chairs pass resolution to oppose seismic testing and oil exploration

By Regan Paranihi

A historic agreement was made to oppose all seismic testing and oil exploration in the waters of New Zealand during a recent national gathering of Māori leaders at Te Papa.

It was a united decision by the Iwi Chairs Forum that passed the resolution to oppose seismic testing and oil exploration in our waters and seeks amendments to the EEZ Act to give effect to this opposition.

Several Iwi have been divergent to seismic testing in their waters as the licenses for exploration kept increasing around the coastal areas of the country last decade.

The world’s largest seismic exploration ship also known as the Amazon Warrior arrived on the shores of New Zealand earlier this week to start a summer of seismic blasting off the Taranaki Coast.

Te Pahunga Davis, Taranaki kaumātua and Chairman of Te Kāhui o Rauru says, “All of the Taranaki iwi support this kaupapa and endorse the petition.”

In just one week the petition to ‘Halt Seismic Testing in Taranaki Moana” gathered over 10,000 signatures.

The Petition states:

“As we face the climate change emergency all over the world, the threats to our whānau, our culture and all future generations increase with every new fossil fuel exploration permit.”

“Burning fossil fuels lies at the heart of this threat, and we know the whole world is preparing to transition away from oil, gas, and coal to support new forms of sustainable energy as a matter of urgency.”

“We are asking for all future oil exploration permits to be canceled to support Aotearoa, New Zealand progress towards a zero carbon economy by 2050.”