New Zealand Says Oil not Available for Treaty Settlements

The New Zealand Government has confirmed its view that publicly owned petroleum assets are not available for use in settling Treaty of Waitangi claims.

The Minister of Energy Hon Pete Hodgson and the Minister in charge of Treaty of Waitangi negotiations Hon Margaret Wilson, made the Government's view clear in a joint statement.

Responding to The Petroleum Report issued by the Waitangi Tribunal in May this year, the Government said it had determined that it does not agree with key elements of the Tribunal's findings and will not act on its recommendations.

The Government also noted that the Tribunal doubted that petroleum was a taonga (treasure) in terms of the Treaty and the Tribunal did not seek to develop the notion that Maori have a development right in relation to petroleum.