The skipper involved in an oil protest off the East Cape yesterday has been charged.
Police said today that a man was charged under the Maritime Transport Act with operating a vessel in an unsafe manner.
The man, believed to be skipper Elvis Teddy, was arrested yesterday amid a protest by iwi Te Whanau a Apanui-owned vessel San Pietro against Brazilian oil giant Petrobras' survey ship, Ocean Explorer.
He was released on bail last night and will appear in court in Tauranga on Friday.
Teddy's lawyer plans to challenge police claims that her client acted dangerously, Radio New Zealand reported.
Police say they aren't ruling out laying further charges.
The protesters claim they were simply exercising their right to fish in the area but police said they were blatant safety breaches.
The Ocean Explorer is doing the first seismic study of the Raukumara Basin area off the East Coast since the government awarded Petrobras a $151 million five-year permit last June.
MP Hone Harawira is calling the arrest a disgrace.
Harawira says no New Zealander challenging the right of a government to deep sea oil drilling should have their own warships come speeding over the horizon to arrest them.