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Iron sand mining not for Ngati Ruanui

Iron sand mining not for Ngati Ruanui

Media Statement 4 February 2014

For Immediate use

Te Runanga o Ngati Ruanui said today a raft of lingering concerns about the effects of iron sand mining had left the iwi with no choice but to oppose an application by Trans-Tasman Resources (TTR) to mine iron sands along the South Taranaki coast.

Chairman Haimona Maruera said despite studying the proposal in great detail Ngati Ruanui were left with too many concerns and too many unanswered questions to support the proposal.

“Based on the information provided, the heavy reliance on theoretical modelling and the potential risks posed to the environment, we view the risk to Ngati Ruanui being much greater than the benefits claimed,” Mr Maruera said.

Chief Executive Debbie Packer-Ngarewa said Ngati Ruanui is concerned that the real impact of iron sand extraction – both in the short and long term – is not clear in the information presented by TTR.

“The widespread movement of sand and the effects of the resulting smothering and sediment plume have always been of significant concern to Ngati Ruanui. However, the information provided by TTR has not relieved those concerns,” she said.

Mrs Packer-Ngarewa said the economic benefits put forward didn’t stack up for Ngati Ruanui either.

“TTR commissioned a specific economic impact report, but it only provides a generalised view of economic opportunities largely from a national perspective. While we don’t dispute some of the assertions in the report, there are no specific economic impact projections for the Taranaki region but most importantly the takiwa (tribal area) of Ngati Ruanui.”

She said Ngati Ruanui does support natural resource development activity, but only after careful consideration of risks versus the benefits, mitigation measures and incident and issues response procedures.

Ends

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