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Debbie Ngarewa-Packer: Govt Must Now Implement Seabed Mining Position Domestically

Te Pāti Māori Co-leader and environment spokesperson Debbie Ngarewa-Packer is celebrating the globally significant decision of the government to support a conditional international moratorium on seabed mining, as announced by Minister Mahuta today, and is calling on the Government to support her Member’s Bill which would implement their position domestically.

“Today marks a massive milestone on our eight-year campaign to stop seabed mining in Aotearoa and across the Pacific,” said Ngarewa-Packer.

“For years we have fought for Aotearoa’s government to acknowledge the dangers and risks of seabed mining, which would likely cause irreversible damage to our marine environment and coastlines. Today is the first time they’ve made that acknowledgement.

“Tangata whenua and communities have had to take our fight to the highest courts in the land. Due to legislative uncertainty, Ngāti Ruanui and Ngā Rauru are still fighting eight years later to protect our moana in South Taranaki, and yet their position is foundational in what we’re seeing internationally - a values approach is the only approach.

“I congratulate Minister Nanaia Mahuta and her colleagues for working with integrity to reach this outcome, and following the clear call of the scientific community that the risks are too great to proceed with seabed mining.

“This follows on from my attendance at the United Nations Oceans Conference in Lisbon in June, where we successfully worked with Pacific nations, indigenous leaders and environmental groups to lobby the nations of the world to oppose this destructive activity.

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“My Member’s Bill, the Prohibition on Seabed Mining Legislation Amendment Bill, is due for its first reading in Parliament next month. The government now has the opportunity to implement their position domestically by supporting this bill through to select committee.

“We will continue our push to get a domestic ban or moratorium over the line and look forward to discussing options with government. I call on the Prime Minister and her government to settle this issue once and for all and protect our oceans and climate for generations to come,” said Ngarewa-Packer.

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