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

 

Gordon Campbell: On The Ombudsman’s Verdict On Paula Rebstock And Ian Rennie

Unfortunately, the brave and damning report by Ombudsman Ron Paterson on the “flawed” and “unfair” inquiry conducted by Dame Paula Rebstock into events at MFAT pulls back the veil on a far wider issue. More>>

ALSO:

Charities' Report: Stressed Families - Overstretched Services

“Like so many of the whānau and families they serve social service organisations are under huge financial stress. The support demanded from desperate people in communities is far outreaching the resources available.” More>>

ALSO:

Detention: Wellingtonians Protest Treatment Of Refugees

Peace Action Wellington (PAW) and around 50 Wellingtonians blockaded the Australian High Commission, creating a symbolic detention centre to protest the Australian Government's policy of mandatory offshore detention for refugees and asylum seekers. More>>

ALSO:

Diver's Alarums: Breach Means Training Provider Must Repay $1.47 Million

The New Zealand School of Outdoor Studies is to repay $1.47 million (GST-exclusive) to the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) following an investigation which showed that some student enrolments between 2009 -2014 could not be validated and that courses were under-delivered against their agreement with the TEC. More>>

ALSO:

Education: Government Plans Suggest Bulk Funding Return

Plans by the Government to return to bulk funding are likely to see increased class sizes and schools most in need missing out on much-needed resources, Labour’s Acting Education spokesperson Grant Robertson says. More>>

ALSO:

Interim Report: Auckland Looks Long Term To Pay-Per-Km Road Pricing

Aucklanders can expect to be paying variable rates per kilometre to travel on the city's most congested roads under an emerging transport strategy being formulated by the government and the Auckland Council. More>>

ALSO:

Despite Promises: Government Extends Iraq Deployment

Cabinet has agreed to extend New Zealand’s contribution to the joint New Zealand-Australia mission to train Iraqi Security Forces until November 2018. More>>

ALSO:

On The 'Terrorism' Card:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news