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

 

Half Empty: Fonterra's 2017 Opening Forecast Below Expectations

Fonterra Cooperative Group raised its forecast farmgate milk payout for next season by less than expected as the world's largest dairy exporter predicts lower prices will crimp production and supply will pick up. The New Zealand dollar fell. More>>

ALSO:

Pest Control: Mouse Blitz Team Leaves For Antipodes

The Million Dollar Mouse project to rid Antipodes Island of mice is underway with the departure of a rodent eradication team to the remote nature reserve and World Heritage Area. More>>

Gongs Got: Canon Media Awards & NZ Radio Awards Happen

Radio NZ: RNZ website The Wireless, which is co-funded by NZ On Air, was named best website, while Toby Manhire and Toby Morris won the best opinion general writing section for their weekly column on rnz.co.nz and Tess McClure won the best junior feature writer section. More>>

ALSO:

Pre-Budget: Debt Focus Risks Losing Opportunity To Stoke Economy

The Treasury is likely to upgrade its forecasts for economic growth in Budget 2016 next week but Finance Minister Bill English has already signalled that more of his focus is on debt repayment than on fiscal stimulus or tax cuts... More>>

ALSO:

Fulton Hogan's Heroes: Managing Director Nick Miller Resigns

Fulton Hogan managing director Nick Miller will leave the privately owned construction company after seven years in charge. The Dunedin-based company has kicked off a search for a replacement, and Miller will stay on at the helm until March next year, or until a successor has been appointed and a transition period completed. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Electricity, Executions, And Bob Dylan

The Electricity Authority has unveiled the final version of its pricing plan for electricity transmission. This will change the way transmission prices (which comprise about 10% of the average power bill) are computed, and will add hundreds of dollars a year to power bills for many ordinary consumers. More>>

ALSO:

Half Empty: Fonterra NZ, Australia Milk Collection Drops In Season

Fonterra Cooperative Group says milk collection is down in New Zealand and Australia, its two largest markets, in the first 11 months of the season during a period of weak dairy prices. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news