Ngāti Ruanui, Te Pāti Māori Call On Government To Ban Seabed Mining Following Supreme Court Ruling
Te Pāti Māori Co-leader Debbie Ngarewa-Packer, who has led a seven year campaign, is today celebrating the Supreme Court’s unanimous decision to dismiss TTR’s seabed mining appeal, and calling on the Government to follow this precedent and ban seabed mining in Aotearoa.
The ruling (attached) found that the EPA failed to properly interpret and apply the EEZ Act. A ground-breaking ruling is that the Court agreed tikanga must be taken into account in applying the law, and that courts must take a wider view of Tiriti obligations than the wording of legislation.
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, local community groups and whanaunga iwi mobilised 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.
“Today will be remembered as the day that the South Taranaki coast was saved from environmental destruction, and as the day that ushered in an end to seabed mining in Aotearoa,” said Te Pāti Māori Co-leader Debbie Ngarewa-Packer.
“We are relieved that after years of mahi that we’ve finally reached this point. But our people never should have had to lead this effort. We’ve lost kaumātua in the time it’s taken to see this conclusion.
“The highest court in the land has now definitively set a precedent which must be implemented by government – now is the time to ban seabed mining in Aotearoa.
“There is no longer any justification to stay silent on this issue, our people expect action. The Government’s own commitments to oceans protection, climate change and Te Tiriti o Waitangi make the course of action obvious.
“Seabed mining practices are environmental vandalism and would wreak havoc on marine life and coastlines for decades to come.
“My Prohibition on Seabed Mining Legislation Bill has already been drafted and entered in the ballot, so all the Government needs to do is to agree to support my Bill,” said Mrs Ngarewa-Packer.
“Our people couldn’t be more stoked with this decision. Today is a huge day for Ngāti Ruanui and the iwi of Aotea,” said Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Ruanui Tumu Whakaae Haimona Maruera.
“That’s why we are calling on the Government to adopt Debbie’s seabed mining bill and ban this once and for all, so other hapū and iwi across the country don’t have to take up this fight,” said Mr Maruera.