New Zealand Energy Corp. (TSX-V:NZ, OTCQX:NZERF) ("NZEC" or the "Company") is pleased to announce that NZEC and Te Runanga o Ngati Ruanui Trust ("TRoNRT") have entered into a Cooperation Agreement to establish a collaborative working relationship as NZEC advances its petroleum properties in New Zealand.
Ngati Ruanui is the iwi (tribe) located in South Taranaki on New Zealand's North Island, the location of NZEC's Alton and Eltham petroleum exploration permits. TroNRT is recognized as the representative body of 16 hapu (sub-tribes) who make up Ngati Ruanui, and has the responsibility of managing the interests of the Ngati Ruanui iwi for the benefits of its 8,500 uri (descendants).
The Cooperation Agreement was executed on February 22, 2012 at a hui (ceremony) at Stratford, New Zealand, and outlines the parties' desire to build a sustainable and enduring relationship that promotes the activities and prosperity of NZEC while developing a sustaining and prosperous environment for TRoNRT. The agreement supports TRoNRT's principles of environmental stewardship and economic sustainability and underscores NZEC's commitment to bringing long-term benefits to its community partners.
Under the terms of the agreement, TRoNRT will support NZEC's exploration, development and production activities within the Ngati Ruanui area and NZEC will contribute to positive cultural, economic and social outcomes for the development of Ngati Ruanui and its communities. NZEC and TRoNRT have agreed to establish clear process and communication protocols and to share relevant environmental and technical information. TRoNRT will provide relevant cultural advice and support as NZEC moves through the resource consent, permitting and development process. In addition, NZEC will provide a right of first opportunity to TRoNRT's members for business, employment, educational and training opportunities in South Taranaki.
"New Zealand Energy's commitment to open communication and mutually beneficial relationships forms the cornerstone of our strategy for successful resource development," said John Proust, Chief Executive Officer and Director of NZEC. "We are proud to be working with TRoNRT and look forward to building a collaborative relationship that brings long-term benefits to both NZEC shareholders and our community partners."
Te Runanga o Ngati Ruanui chair, Ngapari Nui, said: "The agreement with New Zealand Energy Corp. is hugely significant to the iwi. The relationship has developed at the highest level based on transparency of environmental practices and first principles. This agreement provides opportunities for our youth and is a good example of what can be achieved through direct engagement between iwi and oil companies."
David Binnie, General Manager New Zealand Petroleum & Minerals (the government agency that manages the New Zealand Government's oil, gas, mineral and coal resources) attended the hui and commented: "This agreement represents a big step forward for the development of oil and gas in Taranaki. I hope that other companies and iwi will see this as a blueprint for agreements elsewhere in New Zealand."
NZEC controls two permits covering 169,949 net acres in the Taranaki Basin. NZEC achieved production in December 2011 from Copper Moki-1, its first discovery well in the Taranaki Basin, and on February 21 announced the commencement of an extended production test from its Copper Moki-2 well and the start of drilling of Copper Moki-3 well.
On behalf of the Board of Directors
Chief Executive Officer & Director
About New Zealand Energy Corp.
NZEC is an oil and natural gas company engaged in the production, development and exploration of petroleum and natural gas assets in New Zealand. NZEC's property portfolio collectively covers nearly two million acres of conventional and unconventional prospects in the Taranaki Basin and East Coast Basin of New Zealand's North Island. The Company's management team has extensive experience exploring and developing oil and natural gas fields in New Zealand and Canada, and takes a multi-disciplinary approach to value creation with a track record of successful discoveries. NZEC plans to add shareholder value by executing a technically disciplined exploration and development program focused on the onshore and offshore oil and natural gas resources in the politically and fiscally stable country of New Zealand. NZEC is listed on the TSX Venture Exchange under the symbol NZ and on the OTCQX International under the symbol NZERF. More information is available at www.newzealandenergy.com or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
This news release contains certain forward-looking information and forward-looking statements within the meaning of applicable securities legislation (collectively "forward-looking statements"). The use of any of the words "intention", "establish", "bring", "will", "expect" and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. These statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results or events to differ materially from those anticipated in such forward-looking statements, including without limitation, the speculative nature of exploration, appraisal and development of oil and natural gas properties; uncertainties associated with estimating oil and natural gas resources; uncertainties in both daily and long-term production rates and resulting cash flow; volatility in market prices for oil and natural gas; changes in the cost of operations, including costs of extracting and delivering oil and natural gas to market, that affect potential profitability of oil and natural gas exploration; the need to obtain various approvals before exploring and producing oil and natural gas resources; uncertainty in the timing of receipt of permits and the Company's ability to extend the permits if required; exploration hazards and risks inherent in oil and natural gas exploration; operating hazards and risks inherent in oil and natural gas operations; market conditions that prevent the Company from raising the funds necessary for exploration and development on acceptable terms or at all; global financial market events that cause significant volatility in commodity prices; unexpected costs or liabilities for environmental matters; competition for, among other things, capital, acquisitions of resources, skilled personnel, and access to equipment and services required for exploration, development and production; changes in exchange rates, laws of New Zealand or laws of Canada affecting foreign trade, taxation and investment; failure to realize the anticipated benefits of acquisitions; and other factors as disclosed in documents released by NZEC as part of its continuous disclosure obligations. NZEC believes the expectations reflected in those forward-looking statements are reasonable, but no assurance can be given that these expectations will prove to be correct. Such forward-looking statements included in this news release should not be unduly relied upon. These statements speak only as of the date of this news release and NZEC does not undertake to update any forward-looking statements that are contained in this news release, except in accordance with applicable securities laws.
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