Topic: Mining

Te Kāhui o Rauru to appeal seabed mining in High Court

By Tema Hemi
  • North Island: West Coast

West Coast Taranaki has been the interest of mining companies for decades. But local iwi Ngaa Rauru is making a final stand to stop mining along their coastline. 

Iwi representative group , Te Kāhui o Rauru, will appear in the Wellington High Court to appeal the Environmental Protection Authority's decision last year allowing Trans Tasman Resources Ltd to mine the Taranaki seabed. 

The mining operation involves the excavation of 50 million tonnes of seabed per year for 35 years over an area of 65 square kilometres, down to 11 metres deep. 

CEO of Te Kāhui o Rauru, Anne-Marie Broughton, says, "We want a moratorium on seabed mining because there is just too many unknowns about this operation". 

Broughton says the carnage and impacts will be immense. 

"The damage to the environment ranges from the very tinniest of ocean creatures to the largest. So if we think about the very tinniest, like the plankton and the krill, in our environment. they actually feed the food chain right up to the largest creatures in our marine life like the Blue Whale." 

Despite the governments announcement to end offshore oil exploration in New Zealand,  concerns for Taranaki continue. 

Mike Smith of Green Peace says, ""It's certainly not fair on Taranaki who continue to have their lands fracked, their health put at risk to see their lands desecrated."

National Party MP Todd Muller told Te Kāea the announcement is a step backwards especially for Taranaki. He says, "You watch, there will be a retrenchment in that industry and as some media have already reported this is the long-term death of Taranaki. It's unacceptable when the opportunity is there for New Zealand to participate," 

But Ngaa Rauru iwi says the environmental impacts outweighs the employment opportunities. 

Ngaa Rauru Kiitahi will join alongside other appeal parties from tomorrow. Including representatives of the Taranaki-Whanganui Conservation Board, Te Ohu Kaimoana and Ngaati Ruanui.