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

 


Crucial decision by Environmental Protection Agency

Swakopmund Matters 10 - 2014 –

Crucial decision by New Zealand’s Environmental Protection Agency regarding marine mining


New Zealand’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) refused a mining consent application to Trans-Tasman Resources Ltd - the company proposed to excavate up to 50 million tons of sand per year from the seabed around 30 km offshore.

The EPA outlined that the decision was made mainly due to the uncertainty around the scope and significance of the potential adverse environmental effects, and those on existing interests, such as the fishing interests.

Trans-Tasman Resources could not overcome technological hurdles and fears among scientists and environmentalists that mining could destroy fragile fisheries and exotic creatures at the bottom of the ocean.

Its Chief Executive, Tim Crossley, said the company was extremely disappointed with the decision. “We have put a significant amount of time and effort into developing this project including consulting local communities and undertaking detailed scientific research to assess environmental impacts of the project,”

However the lobby group Kiwis Against Seabed Mining (KASM) saw this as a huge victory for New Zealand's environment. KASM Chair Phil McCabe said:

“This decision is a victory for common sense and environmental protection”.

Trans-Tasman Resources hoped to have started mining in 2016 as it already had a mining license, but needed the marine consent from New Zealand's EPA.

This was the EPA's first test of regulating mining in the country's territorial waters. Its next is an application from Chatham Rock Phosphate Ltd, seeking to mine phosphate several hundred kilometres off the east coast of the South Island.

In the Executive Summary of the decision the EPA made these telling remarks:

“The uncertainties in the scope and significance of the potential adverse environmental effects, the lack of confidence we find in the extent to which existing interests will be appropriately taken into account, the lack of clarity about the extent of economic benefit to New Zealand outside of royalties and taxes and the economic value of the adverse effects, cannot be remedied by the imposition of other lawful conditions that we could require based on the evidence before us.

In summary, on the evidence presented, we are not satisfied that the life-supporting capacity of the environment would be safeguarded or that the adverse effects of the proposal could be avoided, remedied or mitigated, nor do we consider that the proposed conditions (including the adaptive management approach) are sufficiently certain or robust for this application to be approved, given the uncertainty and inadequacy of the information presented to us about the potential adverse effects.

Overall, we think this application was premature. More time to have better understood the proposed operation and the receiving environment and engage more constructively with existing interests and other parties may have overcome many of the concerns we have set out in this decision. It is conceivable that at least some of these matters could have been addressed contemporaneously with the other investigative work the applicant undertook prior to lodging the application for consents. Ultimately, the information upon which we had to make our decision, while voluminous, was too uncertain and inadequate, and we did not have sufficient confidence in the adaptive management approach proposed to address that uncertainty and inadequacy to enable the activity to be undertaken. For all of these reasons, the application as presented to us does not meet the sustainable management purpose of the EEZ Act”.


The significance of this decision and the reasoning behind it should not escape the minds of those in Namibia who have an equally important task in protecting and preserving Namibia’s marine environment and its resources.

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

  • Govt Probed Over Health & Safety
  • Questions and Answers 28-05-15
  • Week in Parliament 22-05-15
  • Saturday Sitting
  • House Rises At Midnight
  • Telco Levy Bill Passes
  • Telco Levy Bill Completes First Reading
  • Social Housing Bill Passes Under Urgency

  • Labour Party: McCully Doesn’t Deny Bribe In Saudi Sheep Scandal

    “In Parliament today I asked Murray McCully directly: Why is he the first Minister in history to back a multi-million dollar facilitation arrangement which in other jurisdictions is called a bribe? says Labour’s Export Growth and Trade spokesperson ... More>>

    ALSO:

    Welfare: Closure Of Relationships Aotearoa

    The Aotearoa New Zealand Association of Social Workers (ANZASW) Chief Executive Lucy Sandford-Reed is concerned about the closure of a national service which provides a wide range of services to rural and urban communities throughout New Zealand. More>>

    ALSO:

    TPPA: University Of Auckland Warns Of Negative TPP Impact

    The University of Auckland May 20, 2015 University of Auckland Warns of Negative TPP Impact With the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiation drawing to a close, the University of Auckland has expressed serious concerns about its potential implications. ... More>>

    NZ Flag: Flag Referendum Gets Hit Hard In New Poll

    The latest Campbell Live text poll confirms it is time for the Prime Minister to listen to the public and shelve his flag referendum, says the New Zealand First Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters. More>>

    Gordon Campbell: The Government’s Belated Moves On Property Speculation

    Is it a property tax on capital gains or a capital gains tax on property? The Jesuitical distinctions in the government’s spin about its latest moves on property speculators are all about whether the government can claim that it jumped, or confess that it ... More>>

    Grant Robertson:
    Key Can’t Just Be Prime Minister For Parnell

    John Key must show New Zealanders in next week’s Budget that he is more than the Prime Minister for Parnell, and is also the Prime Minister for Pine Hill, Putararu and Palmerston North, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. In a ... More>>


    Labour Party: More Regional Jobs Go In Corrections Reshape

    News that 194 Corrections staff are to lose their jobs will have ramifications not only for them and their families but for the wider community, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. Prison units at Waikeria, Tongariro and Rimutaka ... More>>

    ALSO:

  • NZ First - Prison Job Losses to Send Money Offshore
  • TPPA: ‘Team Obama’ Regroups On Fast Track, Still Not Deliverable

    ‘After yesterday’s stinging and unexpected defeat for the Obama administration’s attempt to advance Fast Track legislation in the US Senate, Senate leaders have worked up a compromise they think will get them past this blockage’, according to Auckland ... More>>

    NZ Government: 5,500 More Doctors And Nurses In Our Hospitals

    Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says a record number of doctors and nurses are working in District Health Boards across the country. More>>

    Controller and Auditor General: Katherine Rich Conflict of Interest Decision

    We are writing to you about a matter that has been raised with us by members of the public. More>>

    ALSO:

    Budget 2015: Andrew Little On The 2015 Budget

    Speaking to the Chamber of Commerce, the Labour opposition leader attacked the government’s approach to economic issues facing New Zealand. He said they have been “more than reckless in their complacency” and “the next week’s budget will do nothing ... More>>

    Defence Force: NZDF Building Partner Capacity Mission Personnel In Iraq

    NZDF Building Partner Capacity Mission Personnel in Iraq The New Zealand Defence Force Building Partner Capacity training mission contingent is in place at Taji Military Complex in Iraq. The Chief of Defence Force Lieutenant General Tim Keating says the ... More>>

    PM Press Conference: ACC Levy Cuts Announced

    In a press conference this afternoon in Wellington, ACC Minister Nikki Kaye proposed $500 million worth of ACC levy cuts. More>>

    Quakes: New Process For Red Zone Crown Offers

    Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee has announced a process to give everyone a say on the Crown offers to owners of vacant, commercial/industrial and uninsured properties in the Residential Red Zone. More>>

    ALSO:

    Get More From Scoop

     

    LATEST HEADLINES

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Politics
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news