19 Sep 2016

Seabed mining plan draws 6000 opponents

6:02 pm on 19 September 2016

Opponents of an application to mine the seabed in Taranaki have presented a petition to Parliament.

A protest against seabed mining in Taranaki headed to Parliament on 19 September 2016.

Kiwis Against Seabed Mining and Ngāti Ruanui organised the petition, which was presented to Green Party MP Gareth Hughes at Parliament. Photo: RNZ / Chris Bramwell

Trans-Tasman Resources lodged an application with the Environmental Protection Authority in August for a marine consent to mine about 66sqkm in the South Taranaki Bight.

The 6000-signature petition, organised by Kiwis Against Seabed Mining and Ngāti Ruanui was presented to Green Party MP Gareth Hughes.

Iwi spokesperson Debbie Ngawera-Packer said approving the application would open the door to similar mining approvals in other places.

She said the people of Patea had been through a lot of adversity, and they did not want their seabed destroyed as well.

"These are whānau who have been affected previously by pollution from Patea freezing works, with milk that spilled on the reef and killed indigenous species.

"These whānau have lived through adversity both environmental and economic and will endure - but we are pleading with people to take notice of this application

"If it comes to us it will also go down to the West Coast of the South Island and they will open it up so we will have multiple entities out there seabed mining and there will be no way we'll be able to contain the damage they're doing."

The EPA turned down a similar application by the same company in 2014 after lengthy hearings.

The location of the application.

The location of the proposed project in Taranaki Graphic: Supplied / Environmental Protection Agency

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