A Taranaki iwi is calling for an immediate review of New Zealand Petroleum and Minerals which it says can no longer be trusted.
A State Services Commission report has found the private security firm Thompson & Clark had an inappropriately close relationship with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment unit which manages the country’s mineral and petroleum resources.
It also found that the firm, which was hired by some government agencies, treated so-called “issue motivated groups”, including Greenpeace, the Green Party and iwi as security threats.
Ngati Ruanui has been actively opposed to a proposal to mine ironsand from the seabed off the South Taranaki coast.
Leader Debbie Ngarewa Packer says the report reflects the iwi’s experience that government agencies were biased against it.
“While we are outraged we’re also not surprised because this was exactly what we were complaining about and experiencing firsthand that the MBIE Petroleum and Minerals section had an absolute bias.
“They’ve abused their powers and used delegations way beyond what’s expected ethically and I think legally as well.”
Ms Ngarewa Packer said serious questions needed to be asked of the MBIE unit.
“What it highlights to us as Ngati Ruanui is that there needs to be a full scale review of the New Zealand Petroleum and Minerals. They can’t be trusted.
“And certainly in absorbing the shock, we’ll be assessing the possibility for official complaint to the appropriate services.”