Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Groups call for seabed mining moratorium

Groups call for seabed mining moratorium as first application goes in

23 October 2013


As New Zealand’s first application to mine ironsands from the seabed was lodged at the EPA this week, Kiwis Against Seabed Mining (KASM) leads a call for a moratorium on the untested practice.

On Monday, Trans Tasman Resources (TTR) lodged their application to mine the seabed off South Taranaki with the EPA. The EPA has yet to approve it and could send TTR back to do more homework before it opens the application up for public submissions.

“This is an entirely untested and experimental practice that we in New Zealand should take our time in considering,” said Phil McCabe, Chairperson of KASM.

“There are vast knowledge gaps in our baseline understanding of the marine environment, let alone what the effects would be from this activity. The regulatory framework is inadequate and imbalanced, and the proposed economic model is far from best case,” he said.

The call for the moratorium is, so far, supported by a number of different groups: Forest & Bird, Greenpeace, ECO, Sea Shepherd, Surfing Taranaki and Surfbreak Protection Society.

KASM believes, if implemented, the moratorium would give New Zealanders time to better understand the broader implications of such an industry operating at scale in our coastal waters in terms of recreation, environmental effects and the economic trade-offs that would ensue.

Already, the Governments of Australia’s Northern Territory and Namibia have established moratoria on seabed mining off their coastlines, arguing that there simply isn’t enough information to let it go ahead.

KASM is gearing up for the first hearing by the EPA under the new EEZ legislation.

“New Zealand is an island nation and we love our marine environment, and we love our black sands - the people of the North Island’s west coast even more so than most. TTR sure are going to have a fight on their hands,” says McCabe.

The KASM Moratorium call sets out six reasons why seabed mining should not go ahead in New Zealand:

1. Insufficient knowledge: Our baseline understanding is incomplete, therefore it is not currently possible to adequately predict the environmental affects of seabed mining.
2. Cumulative effects unknown: The marine environment is already under stress from industry, fishing and agriculture. How would the addition of this activity compound these effects?
3. Inadequate regulatory process: The new EEZ legislation falls far short of the state of the art, participatory process that is needed to protect and maintain the integrity of our marine environment.
4. New Zealanders need both time and information: We need full and free access to information and ample time to consider the long-term implications of this activity. We need to know what stands to be lost before it is put at risk.
5. Questionable economic and social impacts: In the case of ironsands, mining proposals feature predominant foreign ownership and no added value to raw resources onshore. Further, no consideration has been given to potential collateral damage to ‘New Zealand Inc’ caused by the establishment of this environmentally destructive industry.
6. Highly experimental and untested: the technology, and the impact of the world’s largest seabed mining operation threatens not only our marine environment, but also New Zealand’s international image and trade advantage.

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Greek Riddles:
Gordon Campbell On The Recent Smackdown Over Greece

There had been a fortnight of fevered buildup. Yet here we are in the aftermath of the February 28 showdown between the new Syriza government in Greece and the European Union “troika” and… no-one seems entirely sure what happened. Did the asteroid miss Earth?

It seems to have. The EU still exists. Syriza is now claiming a victory of sorts. It doesn’t help that the only people who do appear to be sure (the Greeks buckled) are claiming the exact opposite to what the other group (the Greeks won!) are saying. Plus, there are bets either way e.g. Bloomberg News: “Its too early to say who caved in to whom.” More>>

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Iraq: Ex-Hostage Says Government Not Putting NZers, Iraqis First

Harmeet Singh Sooden is travelling to Iraq in the coming weeks to work with Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) on a short-term assignment. More>>

ALSO:

Joint Statement: Australia-New Zealand Leaders’ Meeting

Prime Minister Key warmly welcomed Prime Minister Abbott and Mrs Abbott to New Zealand. The visit has enabled wide-ranging and substantive discussion that has underlined the strength, value, diversity and warmth of our trans-Tasman relationship. More>>

ALSO:

Press Conference: Peters To Stand In Northland By-Election

New Zealand First Leader Winston Peters has announced his intention to stand in the Northland by-election, citing his own links to the electorate and ongoing neglect of the region by central government. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Wage Hike For MPs (and Paul Robeson)

Hard to tell what is more infuriating. Is it the 5.3% increase on the already bloated salaries of MPs, or their pantomime of outrage at being gifted with such a wonderful back-dated bonanza? More>>

ALSO:

No Designers Or Visual Artists: Flag Panel Members Announced

The Government has appointed 12 New Zealanders as members of the Flag Consideration Panel which will engage with the public about a possible new New Zealand flag, Deputy Prime Minister Bill English says. More>>

ALSO:

Labour MP Stands Down From Portfolio: Comment From Carmel Sepuloni

The first I knew of my mother’s charges was when I was called by a reporter yesterday. I spoke to Andrew and we agreed there is a conflict of interest at the present time which means I will temporarily stand aside from the Social Development portfolio. It’s the right thing to do… . More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Whether NZ Troops Are The Least Of Islamic State’s Problems

Given that it has been politically packaged and sold as a training mission, the Iraq deployment announced yesterday by Prime Minister John Key seemed to be mysteriously short of actual trainers... The other wing of the argument is whether a troop deployment is (a) the only effective way and (b) the appropriate time to combat Islamic State. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news