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Statoil Deep Sea Oil Drilling, Aotearoa/New Zealand

Statoil ignores Indigenous entitlement/opinion and continues to unlawfully pursue Deep Sea Drilling in the Te Reinga Basin within the EEZ of Aotearoa/New Zealand


The transnational corporation, Statoil (based in Norway), has entered into a singular agreement with the british crown treaty partner (Te Tiriti O Waitangi) to explore and drill for deep sea oil off the coast of Ahipara in the Te Reinga Basin of Aotearoa/New Zealand. They have ignored the other equal treaty partner, the Native people of the country (Māori), who have rights and claims over the area and who are 100% opposed to any exploration, seismic survey, or drilling of any kind in the land or seabed.

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Statoil Deep Sea Oil Drilling, Aotearoa/New Zealand
Country:New Zealand
State or province:Northland
Location of conflict:Ahipara
Accuracy of locationMEDIUM (Regional level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Fossil Fuels and Climate Justice/Energy
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Oil and gas exploration and extraction
Specific commodities:Crude oil
Project Details and Actors
Project details

No extraction has begun, but 2D seismic survey has been completed in the face of 100% opposition by native Māori and local people. The impact on our large marine mammal and fish populations is a difficult science to report on based on the remote and deep sea environment.

Project area:30,000
Level of Investment for the conflictive project20,000,000 or more
Type of populationRural
Affected Population:The entire country would be negatively effected by an oil spill
Relevant government actors:The National Party
Prime Minister John Key
National Party member Simon Bridges
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Ahipara Komiti Takutaimoana
Greenpeace NZ
Te Rarawa Iwi and Hapu
Other Muriwhenua Iwi (Ngati Kuri, Te Aupouri, Ngai Takoto, Ngati Kahu)
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Indigenous groups or traditional communities
Informal workers
Social movements
Ethnically/racially discriminated groups
Recreational users
Local scientists/professionals
Fisher people
Forms of mobilization:Artistic and creative actions (eg guerilla theatre, murals)
Boycotts of official procedures/non-participation in official processes
Community-based participative research (popular epidemiology studies, etc..)
Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development of a network/collective action
Development of alternative proposals
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Media based activism/alternative media
Objections to the EIA
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Occupation of buildings/public spaces
Arguments for the rights of mother nature
Appeals/recourse to economic valuation of the environment
Boycotts of companies-products
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity)
Potential: Food insecurity (crop damage), Global warming, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Noise pollution, Oil spills, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems, Other Environmental impacts
Other Environmental impactsLoss of tourism, environmental disaster, destruction of food sources, economic ruin on a national scale
Health ImpactsPotential: Accidents, Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…), Malnutrition, Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide, Occupational disease and accidents, Infectious diseases, Deaths, Other environmental related diseases, Other Health impacts
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Militarization and increased police presence, Violations of human rights, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place, Other socio-economic impacts
Potential: Displacement, Loss of livelihood, Social problems (alcoholism, prostitution, etc..), Specific impacts on women
Project StatusProposed (exploration phase)
Conflict outcome / response:Corruption
Criminalization of activists
Environmental improvements, rehabilitation/restoration of area
Institutional changes
New legislation
Strengthening of participation
Violent targeting of activists
Application of existing regulations
New Environmental Impact Assessment/Study
Withdrawal of company/investment
Proposal and development of alternatives:renewable energy investment
divestment from fossil fuels that link directly to climate change.
indigenous businesses
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:Communities are Still fighting against Deep Sea Oil Drilling and Statoil, as well as the government who has dispossessed in one swift pen stroke all the foreshore and seabed from Indigenous people of Aotearoa (Māori).
Sources & Materials
Juridical relevant texts related to the conflict (laws, legislations, EIAs, etc)

2004 Foreshore And Seabed Act

2011 Marine And Coastal Areas Act (Amendment, still insidious)
[click to view]

References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

Hīkoi, 40 Years of Māori Protest, Aroha Harris

1) Northland deep sea oil factsheet
[click to view]

Other documents

(2) Block offer submission
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:J Murupaenga Ikenn, Ahipara Komiti Takutaimoana
Last update18/08/2019
Conflict ID:1836
Legal notice / Aviso legal
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