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

 

Strike: Lyttelton Port Workers Vote To Escalate Dispute

Members of the Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU) at Lyttelton Port today voted to escalate their industrial action. Around 200 RMTU members have been operating an overtime ban since 17 December and today they endorsed a series of full withdrawals of labour at the port. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: NZ Dollar Falls To 3-Year Low As Investors Favour Greenback

The New Zealand dollar fell to its lowest in more than three years as investors sold euro and bought US dollars, weakening other currencies against the greenback. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: NZ Govt Operating Deficit Smaller Than Expected

The New Zealand’s government’s operating deficit was smaller than expected in the first five months of the financial year as a clampdown on expenditure managed to offset a shortfall in the tax-take from last month’s forecast. More>>

ALSO:

0.8 Percent Annually:
NZ Inflation Falls Below RBNZ's Target

New Zealand's annual pace of inflation slowed to below the Reserve Bank's target band in the final three months of the year, giving governor Graeme Wheeler more room to keep the benchmark interest rate lower for longer.More>>

ALSO:

NASA, NOAA: Find 2014 Warmest Year In Modern Record

Since 1880, Earth’s average surface temperature has warmed by about 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit (0.8 degrees Celsius), a trend that is largely driven by the increase in carbon dioxide and other human emissions into the planet’s atmosphere. The majority of that warming has occurred in the past three decades. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: New Zealand’s Reserve Bank Named Central Bank Of The Year

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand’s efforts to stifle house price inflation by using new policy tools has seen the institution named Central Bank of the year by Central Banking Publications, a publisher specialising in global central banking practice. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Standards New Zealand

Standards New Zealand
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news