The Kaikoura community's concerns about deep sea drilling made television news this week. Kaikoura reporter Emma Dangerfield recaps the story so far.
The Kaikoura community is putting up a fight against Texan oil giant Anadarko.
TV3's Campbell Live programme gave the issue extensive coverage on Tuesday.
A group of residents shared their concerns about the impact exploratory drilling, or even its precursor, seismic testing, would have on the marine environment.
The topic has stirred up the community because of its reliance on a clean marine environment, and the belief the risk of disaster is too great.
New Zealand's response plan has also been called into question because there are three response vessels for the whole country.
Te Runanga o Kaikoura has been vocal about its concerns.
Whale Watch Kaikoura and Encounter Kaikoura, which runs dolphin swimming trips, are among operators who fear the risk to the marine environment.
A Kaikoura-based petition signed by 2330 early last year called for the offshore blocks to be withdrawn from tender, and was in line with a similar request from the Kaikoura District Council.
The-then Minister of Energy and Resources Phil Heatley visited Kaikoura but said withdrawal of the blocks was unlikely as it would set a precedent.
He did, however, tell those present that all offshore drilling, including exploratory, would be publicly notified.
A series of public meetings followed, with concerned residents refusing to drop the issue.
Another protest was held this year with hundreds of people joining hands along the Kaikoura coastline.
Green MP Steffan Browning said it had been the largest of gatherings held around New Zealand to protest offshore drilling.
Since then, the Government has passed an amendment to the Crown Minerals Act, known as the Anadarko Amendment, which limits protest activity in New Zealand's Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).
Last month Environment Minister Amy Adams announced proposals that would see applications for exploratory drilling go through the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). They would be non-notified, which means the public would not get to have a say, despite Phil Heatley's 2012 assurances to the Kaikoura community.
Those opposing Anadarko's plans off the Kaikoura coast believe the Government is deliberately shutting out the public.
New energy minister Simon Bridges did not front up on Campbell Live, despite repeated requests, and Kaikoura MP Colin King could not be contacted for comment yesterday.
However he has previously acknowledged the Kaikoura community's environmental concerns and agreed "best practice" is needed when it comes to offshore drilling.
- The Marlborough Express