The New Zealand tribe most impacted by the oil industry supports Government's announcement that it will stop granting new offshore oil exploration permits.

Ngāti Ruanui, with its area centred around Hawera, has experienced the most offshore and onshore oil and gas development of any South Taranaki tribe over the last 50 years.

The iwi has long wanted a sustainable long-term direction for oil and gas permitting.

The announcement is a step in the right direction, chairman Haimona Maruera Jnr said.


It signals a move toward a carbon neutral economy and protects the vulnerable marine environment at the same time.

Offshore oil development has far greater risks than onshore drilling, Ngāti Ruanui kaiarataki Debbie Ngarewa-Packer said.

The tribe has been proactive in protecting its ocean environment, including fighting hard against a proposal to mine iron sand from the South Taranaki seabed.

Ngāti Ruanui would like Government to go further, and scrutinise oil and gas approvals more thoroughly.

"There are lots of offshore permits already granted and most of them are in our backyard so this won't be an immediate end to offshore drilling," Ngarewa-Packer said.

The tribe is looking forward to meaningful discussions with Government ministers.