Topic: Indigenous

Te Ikaroa represent 80 hapū and iwi at UN Ocean Conference

By Leah Te Whata
  • North Island: East Coast

Anti-oil, anti-seismic testing campaign group Te Ikaroa are at the United Nations Ocean Conference raising awareness around the issue of seismic testing along the eastern seaboard. The focus of the conference is to support the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14.

Te Ikaroa representatives are in New York preparing to present a petition carrying the endorsement of 80 Tai Rāwhiti hapū and iwi objecting seismic testing.

Tina Ngata, Te Ikaroa says, "We are primarily aiming to present our petition which has the endorsement of 80 hapū and iwi along the eastern seaboard in objection to the presence of Statoil and Chevron and the seismic surveying that's going on."

The main focus at this year's UN Ocean Conference is to Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.

Ngata says, "Member states from all around the world, as well as organizations that relate to the ocean, have gathered together to look at how we can work together for a healthier ocean."

Te Ikaroa will also address the way in which the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea is applied in relation to indigenous territories and indigenous rights.

"We'll be meeting with other groups from across the Pacific who are undergoing the same struggles as us we'll be talking to them around how the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea has been applied in their regions and we're also meeting with a number of other environmental groups and member states to discuss how we can work together for positive outcomes," adds Ngata.

In coming months the campaign group plan to run a series of wānanga with hopes of helping whānau, hapū, and marae become engaged and understand their rights in the oil licensing process.