New Zealand Petroleum & Minerals (NZP&M) has initiated consultation with iwi and hapū on the proposed Block Offer 2018 release area for petroleum exploration permits.
The proposed release area is restricted to the onshore Taranaki region, and covers a 2,200 square kilometre area, as a result of the Ardern Coalition Government invoking a ban on new offshore permits.
“I encourage iwi and hapū to take part as their input will ensure any areas of sensitivity or significance are considered before the release area is finalised,” says Ilana Miller, National Manager, Petroleum and Minerals.
“Iwi and hapū can request the removal of certain areas within blocks, or seek conditions on any permits over certain areas to protect them.”
The recently enacted Crown Minerals (Petroleum) Amendment Act 2018 verified the ban on granting new offshore petroleum exploration permits, and that the Block Offer process would be restricted to the onshore Taranaki region.
The change in the legislation also prohibits access to conservation land, as part of the Block Offer process, except for minimum impact activities.
The proposed release area also does not include any land listed in Schedule 4 of the Crown Minerals Act - including national parks, nature reserves, and wildlife sanctuaries, or World Heritage sites.
Iwi and hapū will have until March 14 next year to make a submission and it is expected the Minister of Energy and Resources will announce the final area for tender in the second quarter of 2019.