Great Barrier residents win reprieve over dredged waste increase

7:25 am on 4 December 2019

Great Barrier Island residents opposed to the dumping of huge amounts of dredged waste off their coastline have a won a reprieve.

Great Barrier Island, looking down onto Orama's Bay.

Two groups argued the Authority failed to consult properly with local Māori on Great Barrier Island. Photo: 123RF

The High Court has ruled in their favour quashing a decision from the Environmental Protection Authority, which gave Coastal Resources Limited (CRL) permission to massively increase dumping to 250,000cu/m per year.

Two island groups argued the Authority failed to consult properly with local Māori and complained there was not a single public hearing on Great Barrier.

The High Court has agreed, ordering the Authority to start again and this time to listen to its own Māori Advisory Committee on who to consult.

Sue Grey, a lawyer representing the complainants said it's insulting to allow waste being dumped without locals' consent.

"There are the family groups, the hapū there, who weren't consulted with and they need to have a proper chance to explore all of the issues thoroughly, so everyone understands what's proposed and what the effects might be of that," she said.

"This is a case which shows that a community can courageously stand up and do what needs to be done to raise awareness and protect their environment. It's worth people making the efforts to do that."

The Authority said in a statement that it noted the decision by the High Court.

"We will fully consider and digest the Court's decision before making any further comment," the statement said.

RNZ has approached CRL for comments.

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