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

2040 Target And Lower Standards: “Swimmable” Rivers Five Times More Likely To Make You Sick

Forest & Bird has condemned the government’s new water quality standards, warning New Zealanders that they lock in current levels of water pollution and allow for a 5-fold increase in the chance of getting sick from swimming in a river.

“Despite an explicit assurance from Minister Smith that the new water standards would provide for human and ecosystem health, he has failed to deliver on either of these things,” says Forest & Bird CEO Kevin Hague. More>>

 
 

Mayor: 750 New Social And Affordable Homes For Wellington

The next stage of Wellington’s Housing Upgrade Programme will see at least 750 new units of social and affordable housing built over the next decade, Mayor Justin Lester has announced. More>>

ALSO:

22/2: Christchurch Quake Memorial Unveiled

A city, a region, a nation and an international community impacted by the Canterbury Earthquakes will come together to mark the sixth anniversary of the deadly quake and dedicate Oi Manawa Canterbury Earthquake National Memorial. More>>

ALSO:


November Quakes:

Gordon Campbell: On The Mana-Maori Party Deal

If the self-interest involved wasn’t so blatant, the electorate deal between the Maori Party and Hone Harawira would be kind of poignant. It’s a bit like seeing the remaining members of Guns’n’Roses or the Eagles back on the road touring the nostalgia circuit… playing all the old hits of Maori unity and kaupapa Maori politics. More>>

ALSO:

Private Provision: First Social Bond To Focus On Mental Health

New Zealand’s first social bond will help around 1700 people with mental illness into work, Finance Minister Steven Joyce and Social Investment Minister Amy Adams say. More>>

ALSO:

Immigration: Short Reprieve For Nine Indian Students

A temporary hold on deportations of nine Indian students is a step in the right direction but the Government urgently needs to implement safeguards to stop further injustices to more international students, the Green Party says. More>>

EARLIER:


Megaupload Case: High Court Rules Dotcom, Co-Accused Eligible For Extradion

Internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom and his three co-accused are eligible for extradition to the United States, New Zealand's High Court ruled... Justice Murray Gilbert upheld a decision by the District Court that there were grounds for Dotcom, Mathias Ortmann, Bram van der Kolk and Finn Batato to be extradited. More>>

ALSO:

PREVIOUSLY:

Port Hills Fire: Midday Update, Monday 20 February

• 9 homes destroyed
• 2 homes with partial damage. Damage includes things like cracked windows, heat damage.
• 3 properties with damage to other external structures e.g sheds or outbuildings More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news