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

 


Mining application riddled with scientific uncertainties

Seabed mining application riddled with scientific uncertainties: KASM

Trans Tasman Resources’ (TTR) bid to mine 66 sqkm of the seabed in the South Taranaki Bight is so riddled with uncertainties that the EPA should decline the application, Kiwis Against Seabed Mining (KASM) told the EPA hearings in Hamilton today.

In a series of two submissions, KASM pointed to a myriad of uncertainty and missing science. Meanwhile a 12-year-old girl from Raglan made a heartfelt plea to the EPA committee.

During last week’s expert hearings, KASM lawyer Duncan Currie told the EPA, TTR’s expert on how far the sediment plume - from the mining of black sand off the seabed – would stretch across the South Taranaki Bight, had said "the uncertainty of the uncertainty is uncertain."

Dr Mark Hadfield had described the plume as being 20km long and several km across: a plume of around 100sqkm. This would, presumably, continue for 20 years.

He said TTR had admitted it was uncertain about the impact of a whole range of issues, from the plume, to the effect on the benthic ecology, to the presence of blue whales in the Bight and the effect of noise from mining on them.

He urged the EPA, in the face of scientific uncertainties, and in light of New Zealand’s obligations under national – and international law - to decline the application.

KASM Chairperson Phil McCabe’s submission was particularly critical of the way TTR had managed to avoid the EPA hearing evidence from New Zealand’s blue whales expert, Leigh Torres, who has surveyed the blue whales in the area, concluding that it’s a foraging ground for the endangered giant of the sea, one of only five in the Southern Hemisphere.

“TTR simply included a reference to her research in their overview document, but never included it as evidence, so it could not be part of the case, and they declined to call her as a witness. TTR have cleverly kept her out of the hearing,” said McCabe.

Mr Currie called for the EPA to reconsider its decision not to call Ms Torres, and pointed out that KASM expert witness Dr Liz Slooton had been very concerned at the lack of evidence of the impact on the whales and Maui’s dolphins.

Sequoia, 12, from Raglan, made her own submission.

“Creatures, some that haven’t even been discovered yet, live in every little nook and cranny, every crevice and surface - even beneath the sand on the ocean floor. They swarm through the sea in numbers that cannot be counted and some wander around like lonesome spirits. They range from microscopic organisms to the largest animal ever to live on earth.

“And I think of each and every one of these beings as an important part of my world. What if the mining is much worse than everyone thinks and harms creatures that are important to keep the ocean alive? What if the mining upsets things and they never get better again?”

“Please don’t let this happen,” she told the EPA.

KASM is calling for TTR to go back and do a lot more science to fill in the knowledge gaps on the effect of seabed mining on the marine ecology.

ends


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Two Years With New Methods: Crime Stats Show Increase Led By Burglary

The two years of data show an increase in the total victimisation rate of 3.1 per cent, with 12,060 more victimisations in the 2015/16 year when compared to 2014/15 year. From this increase, 72 per cent is attributable to burglaries. More>>

ALSO:

Auckland Relocation Grants: 12 Grants Paid So Far

Since the policy took effect one month ago, 12 applicants have received the non-recoverable grant, supporting 32 people. $54,508 has been paid out, covering things like moving costs, bond, rent in advance and letting fees. More>>

ALSO:

Vaccine Funding Change: HPV Vaccines For All Children

PHARMAC has today announced changes to funded vaccines, which will benefit an extra 100,000 people... The human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine will be available for all children and adults up to the age of 26 years, and boys will now be included in the HPV school vaccination programme. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Why The Opinion Polls For Key And Trump Defy Gravity

What is going on? Donald Trump got confirmed as the Republican presidential candidate at a bizarrely chaotic political convention… and promptly received an upwards bump in the polls to where he’s now rating ahead of Hillary Clinton, for only the second time this year. More>>

Sugar: Auckland Leisure Centres Axe Unhealthy Drinks

Auckland Council is to stop selling drinks that are sweetened by sugar from vending machines at its leisure centres in a bid to try to reduce obesity and type 2 diabetes... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Todd McClay’s Faulty Memory

Time and again, whenever an issue arises the initial response by government is to deny or diminish the problem – nothing to worry about here, everything’s OK, move on. Then, hang on. In line with the usual pattern, as embarrassing details emerged into daylight, the story changed. More>>

ALSO:

Labour's 'Future Of Work': Major Reform Of Careers And Apprenticeships

The next Labour Government will transform careers advice in high schools to ensure every student has a personalised career plan, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. More>>

ALSO:

State Investments Management: Treasury Likes IRD, Not Education Or Corrections

The Inland Revenue Department has scored an 'A' in the first tranche of the Treasury's investor confidence rating for state agencies that manage significant Crown investments and assets, gaining greater autonomy as a result, while the Corrections and Education ministries gained a 'C' rating. More>>

ALSO:

Govt Goal: NZ To Be "Predator Free" By 2050

Prime Minister John Key has today announced the Government has adopted the goal of New Zealand becoming Predator Free by 2050... “That’s why we have adopted this goal. Our ambition is that by 2050 every single part of New Zealand will be completely free of rats, stoats and possums." More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news