Ngāti Ruanui Will Oppose TTR Seabed Mining Supreme Court Appeal Application
Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Ruanui are continuing to oppose Trans-Tasman Resources’ (TTR) as they seek leave from the Supreme Court to appeal the recent Court of Appeal decision that ruled against its seabed mining consent.
In 2017 TTR was given consent by a split decision of the EPA to mine up to 50 million tonnes a year of ironsands off the South Taranaki Bight. Ngāti Ruanui worked with the local community and whanaunga iwi to mobilise against the consent. In 2018, the decision was overturned in an appeal to the High Court, which was upheld by the Court of Appeal’s ruling this month.
“We’re annoyed that we may have to go to court for a fourth time as right now our efforts are focused on protecting our community from COVID-19, but we are undeterred in our resolve and we will oppose TTR’s application for yet another appeal,” said Ngāti Ruanui kaiarataki Debbie Ngarewa-Packer.
“TTR needs to see the writing on the wall and give up on their crusade to use our moana in South Taranaki as a testing ground for what is a risky and untested extractive practice.
“The Court of Appeal’s ruling on the case set a strong precedent in terms of environmental and Treaty law. It found multiple errors of law by the EPA in their approach to the consent including how it would fail to protect the marine environment and how it failed to address Te Tiriti principles and our kaitakitanga relationship with the moana.
“This is not a “shovel ready” project as TTR are trying to claim - there is no vessel, no crew, no social license to operate and a series of failed applications.
“We’re confident that we will again win in the courts if we have to, but it’s time for the Government to step in and legislate to ban seabed mining. They have a responsibility to protect our marine environment and transition our economy away from fossil fuel extraction.
“We are also calling on the Green Party to push their government partners on this issue. Last term they talked about a moratorium and James Shaw stood alongside Ngāti Ruanui to propose a South Taranaki Whale Sanctuary, but they have gone on the silent on the issue while they’ve been in Government and he has not honoured his commitments to us.
“Ngāti Ruanui will never give up on our kaitiaki responsibilities to campaign against seabed mining and we will continue to fight this in the courts, on the streets and even on the seas if it comes to that,” said Mrs Ngarewa-Packer.