Te Whānau-ā-Apanui and Greenpeace are celebrating Petrobras' decision to pull out of NZ and hand back its prospecting licences.
The Brazilian oil giant was awarded a five-year permit in 2010 to explore 12,000km² in the Raukūmara Basin for gas and oil. Te Whānau-ā-Apanui and Greenpeace strongly protested the move, but the Prime Minister today denied they had anything to do with Petrobras' withdrawal.
Petrobras is heading home, and Te Whānau-ā-Apanui is celebrating. Dayle Takitimu, Te Whānau-ā-Apanui’s lawyer, says it wasn’t a victory for the iwi alone, but also for the environment and the Raukūmara Basin.
The decision is a reaction to a string of difficulties which have seen the oil giant report losses for the first time in 13 years, and face the prospect of a 40% drop in share prices.
It was a battle that began two-and-a-half years ago. While they are celebrating now, Takitimu says it was a tough and mind-sapping task. Te Whānau-ā-Apanui and Greenpeace led a number of protests and had close encounters with the company, Takitimu agrees that the decision would not have been a result of their efforts.
While celebrations over the decision will continue, the Government's hunger for economic growth through oil and gas discoveries will continue, as it says there are more oil companies interested.