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
NameStatoil Deep Sea Oil Drilling, Aotearoa/New Zealand
CountryNew Zealand
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 CommoditiesCrude oil
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsNo 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 (in hectares)30,000
Level of Investment (in USD)20,000,000 or more
Type of PopulationRural
Potential Affected PopulationThe entire country would be negatively effected by an oil spill
Relevant government actorsThe National Party

Prime Minister John Key

National Party member Simon Bridges
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersAhipara Komiti Takutaimoana

Greenpeace NZ

Te Rarawa Iwi and Hapu

Other Muriwhenua Iwi (Ngati Kuri, Te Aupouri, Ngai Takoto, Ngati Kahu)
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)MEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
When did the mobilization beginIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups MobilizingIndigenous groups or traditional communities
Informal workers
Social movements
Ethnically/racially discriminated groups
Recreational users
Local scientists/professionals
Fisher people
Forms of MobilizationAppeals/recourse to economic valuation of the environment
Development of a network/collective action
Arguments for the rights of mother nature
Public campaigns
Artistic and creative actions (eg guerilla theatre, murals)
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Boycotts of companies-products
Boycotts of official procedures/non-participation in official processes
Media based activism/alternative media
Community-based participative research (popular epidemiology studies, etc..)
Objections to the EIA
Street protest/marches
Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Occupation of buildings/public spaces
Development of alternative proposals
Official complaint letters and petitions
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
OtherLoss 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-economic 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)
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseApplication of existing regulations
New Environmental Impact Assessment/Study
New legislation
Criminalization of activists
Strengthening of participation
Environmental improvements, rehabilitation/restoration of area
Institutional changes
Violent targeting of activists
Withdrawal of company/investment
Development of Alternativesrenewable energy investment

divestment from fossil fuels that link directly to climate change.

indigenous businesses
Do you consider this as a success?No
Why? Explain briefly.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 and Materials

2004 Foreshore And Seabed Act

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


Hīkoi, 40 Years of Māori Protest, Aroha Harris

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

Other Documents

2004 Foreshore & Seabed Hikoi (land march) 50,000 march for sovereignty and against crown control of the foreshore and seabed
[click to view]

(2) Block offer submission
[click to view]

2014 Hikoi Still fighting for native rights and against government oppression and control
[click to view]

Meta Information
ContributorJ Murupaenga Ikenn, Ahipara Komiti Takutaimoana
Last update14/03/2015