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Govt urged to take precautionary approach to seabed mining

Govt urged to take precautionary approach to seabed mining

Seabed ironsand mining is a controversial activity with risks that New Zealanders don’t want to take, Green Party oceans spokesperson Gareth Hughes said today.

An Environmental Protection Authority hearing begins tomorrow to consider an application by Trans Tasman Resources to mine iron ore from the seabed off the west coast of the North Island. Of the the 4700 public submissions on the proposal 99.5% were against or partially against.

“I hope that the hearing commissioners will take on board the wishes of New Zealanders when it considers whether to allow the destruction of 6500 hectares of our sea floor,” said Mr Hughes.

“New Zealanders want the Government to take a precautionary approach to sea bed mining, but Energy Minister Simon Bridges has already come out backing the proposal.

“The Green Party would impose a moratorium on sea bed mining until it was proved unequivocally safe.

“There is a precedent for a moratorium. In 2012, the Government of the Northern Territory in Australia imposed a moratorium on seabed mining to undertake more research into its impacts,” said Mr Hughes.

Ends

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