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Ed Sheeran

Change mooted for oil exploration rules

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Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says the Government will look to change the law around offshore oil and gas exploration.

Greenpeace is seeking a High Court review of the permit allowing the Amazon Warrior to conduct seismic testing in the South Taranaki Bight for oil industry services company Schlumberger.

It says because the area is a blue whale habitat the Minister for Conservation should have had a say under the Marine Mammal Protection Act, rather than it just being subject to the Ministry of Energy under the Crown Minerals Act.

Iwi have asked the Government to step in but Ms Ardern says its hands are tied by the permit issued by the previous government.

"The criteria are for instance whether or not they have the financial capacity, the technological capacity to do the work, whether or not they have a reputation for having worked in the area. There wasn't grounds on environmental grounds, not even for the Minister for Conservation to be able to reject this application so it was too late in this case but as a consequence we are looking at whether the law is fit for purpose," she says.


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