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

 


EPA seabed mining hearing laws undermining democracy

EPA seabed mining hearing laws undermining democracy


Press release, 9 April 2014


Rules around the EPA’s decision-making process on the country’s first seabed mining application under the new Exclusive Economic Zone Act are undemocratic and make it nearly impossible for adequate public input, Kiwis Against Seabed Mining (KASM) said today.

Echoing the sentiments expressed by the Environment Defence Society this morning, KASM Chairperson Phil McCabe said the entire process appears to have been set up to favour the applicant, Trans Tasman Resources (TTR), and to severely curtail public input.

The tight timeframes set up and adversarial environment where TTR lawyers are able to attend every hearing day, when the hearing runs from March to May, mean that it is virtually impossible for submitters to keep up.

TTR has applied for a marine license to mine a 65sqkm are of the seabed for black sand (ironsands), off the coast of South Taranaki. It is the first such application for offshore black sand mining and, if approved, is likely to create a precedent for other companies who have permits right up the North Island’s West Coast from Taranaki to Cape Reinga.

“We have struggled against a mountain of evidence from the company, with so little time to examine it in detail,” said McCabe.

“Normally, tiny, voluntary groups like ours would be entitled to get legal aid, but the Minister for the Environment, Amy Adams, has decided this won’t apply under this new legislation. This is in contrast to the up to $25m ‘innovation’ grant the Government has awarded the mining company,” he said.

“If you steal an ice cream and can’t pay for your lawyer, you get legal aid. But not if you’re trying to oppose a mining company that is about to rip up our seabed in an area where the critically endangered Maui’s dolphin and giant blue whales are found.”

“We are having to move heaven and earth to fundraise so we can try to keep our heads above water, but with these timeframes and the Government’s refusal to giving submitters legal aid to counter the subsidies given to the seabed miners, we feel we are drowning in paperwork and evidence.”

Of the 4850 submissions to the EPA on the application, 99.5% were opposed, with only eight submitters in support, with most of them related to the mining industry. Local Iwi and the fishing industry are also opposing the application.

The hearings are in Hamilton this week, owing to the huge concern from people in Raglan, a black sand beach. KASM will be presenting its submission on Thursday.

ends



© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

New Research: Most Homeless People Working Or Studying

“The cost of housing has been rising without corresponding increases in income, whilst the number of state houses per capita has been in decline. Many low-income people are missing out on housing, whether we recognise them as ‘homeless’ or not. More>>

ALSO:

Post-Traynor: New Offender Info Sharing Plan

“This Bill delivers on that step-change by moving away from name-based records held by individual agencies to a shared, anchor identity based on unalterable information, such as fingerprints and facial recognition. It also gives agencies access to the drivers’ licence photo database and birth, death and marriages information." More>>

  • NZ Law Foundation - New $2M fund for research on information challenges
  • Littoral: New Ship To Deliver Enhanced Naval Capability

    Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee says the Government has approved a Ministry of Defence and New Zealand Defence Force recommendation to request tenders for a new naval ship to support littoral operations. More>>

    July:

    After King's Labour Snub: Māori Party And Kiingitanga To Work Together

    Māori Party Co-leaders Te Ururoa Flavell and Marama Fox met with Kiingitanga representatives in Wellington yesterday to discuss working together on key issues for the betterment of Māori. More>>

    ALSO:

    Waitangi Claim On Rehabilitation: The 'Justus' System For Māori Not Good Enough

    Closing statements at the Waitangi Tribunal case against Corrections called for immediate steps and a comprehensive review to address the high rate of Māori reoffending. More>>

    ALSO:

    Advice: PM Sets Rules For Ministers' Treatment Of Public Servants

    Prime Minister John Key has laid down the law about the way ministers and public servants should interact, saying ministers may not always like the advice they receive, but they must listen to it carefully, respectfully and professionally. More>>

    Gordon Campbell: On The Funding Changes In Special Needs Education, And Uber

    The plan to strip out the educational support for older “special needs” children in order to meet the existing shortfall in funding for special needs in early childhood education is so miserly and relentlessly stupid as to defy belief… More>>

    SPECIAL EDUCATION (& More):

    Online Learning Plans:

    Get More From Scoop

     

    LATEST HEADLINES

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Politics
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news