Upoko Visit to Woodside New Energy HQ and First Nations Roundtable Meeting
A delegation from Murihiku Regeneration led by Upoko o Awarua, Tā Tipene O’Regan and Upoko o Hokonui Rūnanga, Terry Nicholas, visited Woodside New Energy’s head office in Perth, Western Australia, to participate in a series of meetings and engagements between 15 and 19 October. The visit was supported by Dr Michael Stevens and Miria O’Regan.
Their visit had two main purposes. First, to help gain better understanding on the nature, extent, and potential challenges associated with the proposal to build a Green Ammonia plant at or near Awarua as a part of the Southern Gren Hydrogen Project.
Secondly, to participate in a First Nations Advisory Roundtable in the immediate wake of the failed Australian Indigenous Voice Referendum. Although the negative result inevitably cast a shadow over proceedings, the Indigenous leaders were an impressive group of people and Woodside’s investment in reconciliation measures is admirable.
“This engagement is the latest in a series of interactions between Woodside and our iwi. A number of Woodside staff have visited Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu as well southern Murihiku and Awarua over the last 18 months”.
“Terry Nicholas, in particular, has cultivated positive and constructive relationships with staff at further hui in Sydney and Japan. This all stems from efforts concerning the Tiwai Point aluminium smelter’s uncertain future and exploration of New Zealand’s decarbonisation options.”
We thank Arihia Bennett, Chief Executive of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, for her early and sustained support with these kaupapa. We also thank Najette Alaraibi, Senior Advisor First Nations Relations at Woodside, for her excellent manaaki during the entire visit”, commented Dr Michael Stevens, reflecting on the visit.
It is expected that Woodside New Energy will look to follow up this engagement in Perth, with further hui, and reciprocal visits to Murihiku as the potential project develops.
Posted: 10 November 2023