A Greymouth Petroleum representative, Ms Dickie, admitted in court today that the oil company was confined to only one of several options for a proposed well site due to the community of Tikorangi not wanting them. An entire street of residents had been avoided in one option. “The community of Tikorangi is quite… anti-petrochem” she stated when explaining why other options had not been pursued for the site they are pressing for now.
The company was in the Environment Court in New Plymouth today arguing in a case which sees crown lawyers for Heritage NZ (previously the Historic Places Trust), working with local hapu Otaraua, to prevent drilling of the previously secret grave site of what many call Taranaki’s last paramount chief: Wiremu Kingi Te Rangitaake.
“Te Rangitaake stood against the selling of more land in Aotearoa. On 17 March 1860, colonial forces attacked his pā and fired the first shots in a war that would spread across the country. It was this war which ravaged across Taranaki for two decades sparking the passive resistance movement in Parihaka and sadly the confiscation of most Taranaki land”
said Emily Bailey of Climate Justice Taranaki.
“It is interesting how 150 years later he is still in the way of greedy oil drillers desperate to extract more of this land’s natural resources.”
“Te Rangitaake led a very difficult life struggling to protect his people and their right to their homeland. Our group fully support the hapu and archaeologists who are trying to protect this old chief’s burial site and prevent Greymouth Petroleum from drilling in a community which does not want them” concluded Bailey.
Greymouth Petroleum are in court again tomorrow [23 Sept 2015], in New Plymouth from 9:30am.
Photo: Flare at Greymouth Kowhai-B wellsite, 14 March 2015, photo by Fiona Clark.
Oil company accused of not properly taking Maori viewpoint into account (TDN, 23 Sept 2015)
Greedy oil drillers desperate to extract more from Taranaki (Radio Waatea, 24 Sept 2015)