Iwi seek urgent review of hearing venues
IWI SEEK URGENT REVIEW OF HEARING VENUES
Te Runanga o Ngati Ruanui is appealing to the EPA chair to review the latest decision from Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) officials not to hold the hearings for Iron Sand Mining within the most affected Patea/Hawera community.
Te Runanga o Ngati Ruanui Kaiarataki Debbie Ngarewa-Packer said only holding hearings for the proposed seabed mining operation in New Plymouth and Wellington was a further knock to those most affected communities in South Taranaki that will struggle economically to mobilise to either venues.
Ngarewa-Packer says, "EPA have made mistakes throughout this whole process, it has been nothing like the ease of engagement we had with EPA in 2014 where their primary focus at this stage was to be inclusive and transparent".
"We've had to go to Environment Court to get redacted areas released, request videos left out, request extensions, as late as last week submitters including my father Hemi Ngarewa received letters from EPA by mail to advise he must notify if he intends to present after the deadline has already closed!”
“Look I get firsts are never easy for agencies based in Wellington, but surely they want to build off the success of what EPA did well in 2014" “At this stage of the process we are left to the mercy of the Chair of the EPA, who is a considered woman and ask that she assess the challenges we are confronting and take charge of the matter and do what is right for those most affected by this Iron Sand Mining proposal".
"It's like the officials have decided to take a hard stance against us because we've challenged processes where obvious mistakes were made. There are more submissions but less venues. All we're asking for is fairness and transparency in a decision making process that affects our community for 35 plus years"