Environmental lobby group Greenpeace and East Coast iwi Te Whanau a Apanui have lodged an appeal against last month's High Court decision upholding Petrobras' deep sea oil exploration licence.

Papers have been filed with the Court of Appeal on the basis Judge Warwick Gendall made several errors of law in his decision, Greenpeace and Te Whanau a Apanui said in a statement. They were challenging then-Energy Minister Gerry Brownlee's awarding of oil exploration permits in the Raukumara Basin in that he didn't account for environmental considerations.

"Greenpeace does not believe that deep sea oil exploration can ever be safe," said Vanessa Atkinson, Greenpeace climate campaigner. "It is clear to just about everyone that the future, whether you're talking about economic prosperity, keeping our clean green reputation, or the survival of our planet, is in clean energy."

Greenpeace and Te Whanau a Apanui said the appeal is against Judge Gendall's finding that the minister didn't have to consider environment obligations and that the Crown's didn't breach its Treaty obligations without specifying the errors of law.


The Petrobras exploration licence covers a large offshore area in the Raukumara Basin, offshore from the East Cape of the North Island. The Brazilian oil company faced opposition from a small flotilla when it undertook seismic surveying in the region early last year.