Sand mining end of world for activist

CHRIS GARDNER
Last updated 05:00 11/04/2014
Vera van der Voorden
NO WAY: Vera van der Voorden clutches a bottle of black sand marked ‘‘not to be taken’’ at the Environment Protection Authority hearing in Hamilton.

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It will be the end of the world for Vera van der Voorden if Trans-Tasman Resources is given consent to mine the seabed off the North Island west coast.

"The decision this panel and its advisers are going to make will have huge consequences for our marine environment, its dwellers and our human future generations, well beyond the foreseeable future," van der Voorden, the Raglan-based founder of Kiwis Against Seabed Mining, told the Environment Protection Authority hearing in Hamilton.

"The rate at which our planet is losing its resources and its ability to sustain its populations is so rapid that a recent paper out of the US has reported that respected scientists are warning about the demise of our civilisation.

"Scientists from all over the world, not in the employ of global corporations, have huge concerns about the trend of unnecessary, careless mining and depletion of precious resources causing large scale destructive side effects.

"They are warning that careful consideration needs to be given to the fair and equitable distribution of resources in order for governments to be able to maintain social order."

Van der Voorden said an international movement was afoot to make large-scale destruction of nature a crime.

"This crime against the survivability of our planet is called ecocide. Today we still live in the dark ages of careless pillage and plunder of domains that in our current systems have no representations."

She said Trans-Tasman Resources had no interest in New Zealand beyond what could be pillaged.

"Veni, vidi, vici. We came, we saw, we conquered is the start of a long story which history proves not to be in the best interests of the current inhabitant."

The hearing finished in Hamilton yesterday and will reconvene in Wellington between next Monday and Wednesday, then move to Taranaki and Whanganui between April 28 and May 2, before closing in Wellington around May 8. The final decision will be released 20 days after the hearing.

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- Fairfax Media

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