Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 


Reversible effects of seabed mining bid ignored, says appeal

Reversible effects of seabed mining bid ignored, says appeal

By Pattrick Smellie

July 10 (BusinessDesk) - Would-be seabed ironsands miner TransTasman Resources says the rejection of its marine consent application rejected last month "did not meet the requirements of the Exclusive Economic Zone Act and was unjust", in its application to appeal the findings of the Decision-Making Committee (DMC) appointed to hear the application by the Environmental Protection Authority.

TTR and opponents spent two months at hearings earlier this year on its proposal to dredge some 50 million tonnes of ironsands annually, extract 5 million tonnes of iron ore and return the remainder to the seafloor, off the coast of Patea in the South Taranaki Bight. It was the first such application for seabed mining under new legislation governing New Zealand's vast, oceanic EEZ.

In documents lodged at the High Court in Wellington, TTR mounts numerous challenges to the DMC's findings and process ,including the order in which it took expert and non-expert evidence, denying TTR opportunities to cross-examine late witnesses, and failing to seek more information that it said it needed, only to reject the proposal on the grounds of uncertainty.

It had also failed to take into account accepted expert evidence, including that the environmental effects of the mining would be reversed within a decade, and had treated some non-expert evidence as coming from experts.

It had also ignored expert witness advice that it was not entitled to ignore and had run an inquiry "that was driven by process and availability considerations, not a proper evidential process."

"The sequencing of evidence and submissions meant that TTR was unable to identify some matters that required attention in evidence, cross-examination, or conditions until the non-expert evidence was filed and submissions made," TTR's legal counsel, Hugh Rennie QC, says in the application to appeal.

TTR had introduced new objectives relating to concerns over the impact of sand plumes on oceanic primary productivity on the last day of the hearings, in response to late, non-expert evidence on the subject, but the DMC "held there had been no opportunity for it to be given any expert review, a matter which arose from the actions of the DMC, not TTR."

TTR also argues the DMC knew it needed more information, but ultimately did not seek it.

"It was not entitled in law to assume that TTR could not provide that information," the company's submission says. "Nor was it entitled ... to infer that TTR did not have such information but it took such inferences in respect of matters it considered to be pivotal."

It was wrong for the DMC to use timelines in the EEZ Act, which require a decision within nine months of an application being lodged, not to extend its deliberations or to request further information.

The DMC should also have treated TTR's proposals for a staged "adaptive management" approach, rather than finding such a process was not possible, the claim says.

The Environmental Defence Society has said it will be cross-appealing the decision.

(BusinessDesk)

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Scoop Business: Wheeler Downplays Scope For ‘Large’ Rates Fall

Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler says some market commentators are predicting further declines in interest rates that would only make sense for an economy in recession, although some easing is likely to be needed to maintain New Zealand’s economic growth. More>>

ALSO:

Ruataniwha Dam: Consent Conditions Could Mean Reduced Intensity

Legal advice sought by the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council on the Ruataniwha Dam consent conditions has confirmed that farmers who sign up to take water from the dam could be required to reduce the intensity of their farming operation to meet the catchment’s strict nitrogen limit. More>>

Health And Safety: Bill Now Sees Rules Relaxed For Small Businesses

Health and safety law reform sparked by the Pike River coalmine disaster has been reported back from the industrial relations select committee with weakened requirements on small businesses to appoint health and safety representatives and committees. More>>

ALSO:

Bearing Fruit: Annual Fruit Exports Hit $2 Billion For First Time

The value of fruit exported rose 20 percent (up $330 million) for the June 2015 year when compared with the year ended June 2014. Both higher prices and a greater quantity of exports (up 9.0 percent) contributed to the overall rise. More>>

ALSO:

Interest Rates: NZ Dollar Jumps After RBNZ Trims OCR

The New Zealand dollar jumped more than half a US cent after Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler cut the official cash rate by a quarter-point and said the currency needs to be lower, while dropping a reference to criteria that justified intervention. More>>

ALSO:

Drones: New 'World-Class' Framework For UAVs

The rules, which come into effect on 1 August, recognise the changing environment and create a world-class framework that accommodates ongoing development while still ensuring the safety of the public, property and other airspace users. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news