An East Coast Iwi is waiting a judge’s decision after two days of court hearings involving four different parties.
A judicial review of the Government’s decision to award Brazilian oil giant Petrobas a permit to drill in the Raukumara Basin has seen submissions from the Crown, Petrobras, Greenpeace and East Coast Iwi Te Whanau a Apanui.
Elvis Teddy, pictured here outside the Tauranga District Court, skippered the San Pietro on behalf of Te Whanau a Apanui as the iwi protested against deep sea oil drilling.
The iwi proceeded with court action against the Government as it felt it was not properly consulted before the decision was made to award Petrobras the permit to drill is waters off the East Coast.
Greenpeace New Zealand climate campaigner Vanessa Atkinson says the Crown’s evidence is that the Energy Minister did not consider the environment or its international obligation before issuing the permit.
“We think this speaks for itself.”
Professor Rick Steiner, an Anchorage-based consultant who witnessed first-hand the effects of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon/Gulf of Mexico oil disaster, gave evidence on behalf of Greenpeace and Te Whanau a Apanui explaining how during the exploration phase is when most oil well blow-outs occur.
Vanessa says the Deepwater Horizon was an exploratory well, and Petrobras’ permit allows such a well to be drilled off the East Coast.
After proceedings finished at the High Court in Wellington, the Honourable Justice Gandall reserved his decision.
Te Whanau a Apanui’s Dayle Takitimu says the case was a challenge to mount, but she says it has been worth the effort.
“This was a technical legal action focused on the decision-making process for granting permits and we remain hopeful the outcome will show that was flawed in this case.
“We can now only hope exploratory deep sea oil - which we know from the Deepwater Horizon is just so dangerous - never comes to the East Coast, or to the waters anywhere around this country.”