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Posted by karere under Maori News
An oil company’s plan to drill close to Mt Taranaki has infuriated a South Taranaki iwi.
Tag Oil has lodged a consent application with the Stratford District Council for drilling 500 metres from the Egmont National Park borders, off Rowan Rd.
Drilling in or beneath any part of Egmont National Park is expressly forbidden by the Crown Minerals Act 1991.
But Nga Hapu o Ngaruahine Iwi Inc chief negotiator and spokeswoman Daisy Noble is incensed the Department of Conservation has provided the council with written affected party approval for exploration and production in the area without speaking to all iwi first.
“If we allow this to happen in this national park, where the hell else is it going to happen?” she said.
“The eight iwi of Taranaki had a right to be consulted by DOC on this activity. They had to be and it hasn’t happened.”
She said Ngati Haua hapu, a subsidiary of Ngaruahine, have lodged an objection to the activities with the council.
“It affects us totally because we are talking about an activity of this magnitude that is so close to our maunga,” she said.
“The maunga can’t help but be affected in some way. What exactly those effects are going to be, none of us are going to know until they start.”
She felt disillusioned by the way matters had been dealt with.
“I believe this is of national importance,” she said.
DOC Taranaki acting conservation partnerships manager Connie Norgate said the department had no concerns about the activities as long as Tag Oil managed their activities appropriately.
“The department considered a number of factors regarding the proposal including proximity to Egmont National Park, proximity to walking tracks within the park, potential effects on indigenous vegetation and indigenous fauna, risk of fire, iwi consultation,” she said.
“Whilst the well is close to the boundary of Egmont National Park, based on the application there is a very low potential for adverse effects on values associated with Egmont National Park.” She said flaring would be contained within a pit and managed appropriately.
“The closest walking track is approximately 5km from the proposed well site. Kiwi are very sparse in this part of Egmont National Park.”
Tag Oil country manager Randy Toone said the company was not going to make public comment until the hearing was completed.
“We expect it to be a robust process and we have submitted a detailed and comprehensive application,” he said.
Stratford District Council will hear the consent application today.
- © Fairfax NZ News[here]