EDS welcomes Trans-Tasman Resources decision
The Decision-Making Committee (DMC) appointed by the Environmental Protection Authority has refused consent to Trans-Tasman Resources to mine ironsands in New Zealand’s exclusive economic zone.
“During the hearing, EDS presented legal submissions focusing on the uncertain environmental effects, the need to favour caution and environmental protection when reaching a decision, and deficiencies in the proposed adaptive management approach,” says EDS Executive Director Gary Taylor.
“The DMC agreed with EDS and other submitters that the uncertainties in the scope and significance of effects on the environment and existing interests meant it was required to favour caution and environmental protection. The DMC considered whether a proposed adaptive management approach might work but reached the conclusion that the proposed conditions to implement the approach were not sufficiently certain or robust to give ‘the degree of confidence’ needed to be able to grant consent.
“The DMC indicated that application was ‘premature’ and the applicant should have spent more time understanding the proposed operation and the receiving environment and engaging with existing interests and other parties.
“Overall, the DMC concluded that the application would not achieve the sustainable management of the natural resources of the exclusive economic zone.
“There was a significant amount of interest in this application from the public. The EPA received 4850 submissions.
“The decision can give New Zealanders some confidence that the EEZ Act’s notified marine consent process is robust and free from political influence. It was the first application under the new law and sets a benchmark for others to follow. In particular, we think it reinforces the need for applicants for marine consents to engage early and meaningfully with key interest groups, stakeholders and iwi.
“EDS would like to thank Rob Enright, Barrister who represented EDS at the hearing and all of the supporters who contributed to this case,” Mr Taylor concluded.