Seabed mining hearings process labeled 'flawed' after more info sought

South Taranaki iwi oppose Trans Tasman Resources to mine the seabed for iron ore

South Taranaki iwi oppose Trans Tasman Resources to mine the seabed for iron ore

A request for new information, from a company wanting to dredge the seabed off the Taranaki coast, should have been made earlier and not during the final hearings stage, groups opposing the mining proposal say.

The Environmental Protection Authority decision making committee has asked Trans Tasman Resources (TTR) to provide more information to its seabed mining application two months into the hearing process.

The authority committee had asked for further information about levels of noise output, and the size of the sediment cloud, which occurred during dredging. 

Taranaki groups oppose the proposal to mine the seabed.

Taranaki groups oppose the proposal to mine the seabed.

It defended its request by saying it was obligated under law to seek the information throughout the process and had wide powers to do so.

* South Taranaki iwi says seabed mining still has too much uncertainty

* Seabed mining could meet Government's export goal, says ministry
* Massive blue whale population found in proposed seabed mining area
* Outrage over limited hearing locations for seabed mining locations

However anti-mining group Kiwi's Against Seabed Mining (KASM) spokesman Phil McCabe said the late call for more documentation showed the consultation and application process was flawed and not as robust as it should be.

Kiiw's Against Seabed Mining spokesman Phil McCabe says the hearings process is flawed
Gerry Henley

Kiiw's Against Seabed Mining spokesman Phil McCabe says the hearings process is flawed

"The information should have been supplied from the beginning," he said.

"Bringing it in now at this late stage means the process isn't robust."

McCabe said the additional information would be useful but it should have been introduced earlier in the process.

The organisation was run by volunteers and paid for experts to investigate issues out of donations.

Ad Feedback

The under-resourced group did not have an open cheque book, or unlimited time, and was fighting a well funded company, he said.

"We knew from the beginning of the process there were key bits missing from TTR's application.

"We told the EPA that it was incomplete and they didn't send it back to TTR.

"Now the EPA is looking for more information to consider during the hearings because the application from TTR is insufficient."

Forest and Bird, and South Taranaki iwi, Ngati Ruanui, both supported KASM's stance.

In a joint statement with Greenpeace, KASM called the request "contrary to natural justice and the Exclusive Economic Zone Act", and accused the EPA of "going off the rails" to ask for more evidence at a late stage.

Trans Tasman Resources have applied to dredge up to 50 million tonnes, over 65 square kilometres, of seabed a year off the South Taranaki Bight to retrieve and export 5 million tonnes iron ore annually for up to 35 years.

It is the second application the 45 per cent owned foreign company had made to dredge the iron sands in three years.

Hearings to consider the application began in Wellington in mid-February, and New Plymouth in March, and were set to end on March 20.

The latest request for more information will set the end of the hearings back to late May.

A decision by the EPA on whether the application is successful may not be known until late June.

McCabe said the group would consider applying for a judicial review of the hearings process because it was flawed and prejudiced submitters opposing the application.

"It's an option for us but it is not a small process to trigger a review and it can be lengthy," he said.

"If the information was available from the beginning, there could have been more submissions made in opposing it."

The EPA had originally accepted the application as complete but had now "turned around" and asked for new information.

McCabe said the authority should have asked for more information seven month ago.

"This new information may make the application look very different than it did at the beginning of the process," he said.

'To have a considerable amount of information put on the table at the end of the process means that opportunities for proper public engagement in the process have now been lost."

 - Taranaki Daily News


Ad Feedback
special offers

Owens refs under-15 match video

Players from both sides were thrilled to have the popular Welshman officiating their match.

Refereeing legend Nigel Owens warmed up for Saturday's Bledisloe Cup test by officiating a school game in Auckland.

Woman and son missing

Tina Whaitiri is 45 and was last seen wearing black pants and a black long-sleeved top.

Police have "serious concerns" for welfare of a West Auckland woman and her young son.

DHBs budget blowout

Minister of Health Jonathan Coleman insists there will be no service cuts to DHBs around the country despite forecast ...

Several district health boards around the country are under pressure to reduce budget blowouts.

Funeral for young author

Ramirez was described as an amazing wife, beloved daughter, darling sister and "crazy fun aunty".

Hundreds farewell Amy Joy Ramirez, who died after falling from a horse while on her honeymoon.


Disability support a 'black hole'

Nicola Parsons waited a year to get early intervention services for Sam. The Ministry of Education's target is to have ...

Preschoolers and their families waiting months for first appointment with early intervention services.

Fight for $50K ring

The woman was unsuccessful in a bid to have her $50,000 engagement ring returned from her former partner.

A Hawke's Bay woman has lost her bid to keep her $50,000 engagement ring after the relationship ended.

New notch in town belt

A map of the land acquired by the Wellington City Council to become part of the town belt.

Wellington City Council has bought 4220sqm of Aro Valley land to add to town belt.

Micra nearly turns micro

The Nissan Micra that narrowly missed being slammed by falling rocks.

Husband tells of rocks falling on wife's car in dramatic Ngaio Gorge Rd slip.


Blacking out and 'stuck' video

Danny Watson says he often has to give several days notice when ordering a taxi, despite companies being required to ...

Danny Watson was blacking out. Paramedics needed to get him to hospital but taking an ambulance would put his life at risk.

Builder lived high life

Former Queenstown builder Jaden Melgren on a duckshooting trip.

Jaden Melgren, who owes at least $670,000, enjoyed a flamboyant life as his business slowly collapsed.

Gangster jailed for a decade

Enoka, the former president of the Christchurch chapter of the Rebels gang, has been jailed for 10 years for his offending.

A former Rebels gang president was "paranoid and certainly irrational" when he broke into a home while armed and high on meth.

Truck crash closes SH1

A truck has jackknifed on the Rakaia River bridge (SH1), closing the road for several hours on Wednesday.

Access to Rakaia River bridge blocked after truck crashes into rail overbridge.


Mother warns of stranger danger

Blake Crossan, 10 was selling raffle tickets at the Hillcrest shops on Sunday when a taxi driver approached him and told ...

Mother warns parents after taxi driver's reportedly odd behaviour.

Fatal crash near Waihi

Athenree Gorge runs between Waihi Beach and Waihi township, north of Tauranga.

One dead and State Highway 2 closed after collision between car and petrol tanker in Bay of Plenty.

Highway man link to fatal fire

The scene of the fatal house fire.

Man seen standing on the side of the highway near scene sparks police appeal.

Holiday death shocks family

Michelle Robertson, left, photographed with her siblings Shannon, Paul and Kerryn at Paul's wedding.

Waikato's Michelle Robertson died of kidney failure while on a holiday in Rarotonga.


Not looking too far forward for Taranaki No 8

19082017 News Photo ANDY JACKSON/STUFF.  Mitre 10 cup rugby, Taranaki V Waikato at Yarrow Stadium in New Plymouth.  Toa ...

"My actions need to speak for themselves."

The next generation


Taranaki rugby training. Logan Crowley

Young halfback the next of the Crowley generation to play rugby for Taranaki.

A gender diversity rainbow

Rainbow Youth representative Morgan Butler says there is no right or wrong time to 'come out'.

What do you do if you don't think you're a he or a she?

Sports medals found in raids

Detective Constable Tony Temple with medals recovered in a raid at a Waitara home.

Person found with the medals wasn't old enough to be a veteran runner and "didn't look like an athlete", police say.


Block to road upgrade cleared

22082017 Photo: MURRAY WILSON/STUFF	
James Line, Kelvin Grove, Palmerston North

Palmerston North's James Line has been cleared for an urban makeover.

More homes for city

Jacinda Adern announces more state houses for Palmerston North. On her right is Labour's Rangitikei candidate Heather ...

Political parties go into battle over housing in Palmerston North.

Recap: Labour on tax

Labour leader Jacinda Ardern and deputy leader Grant Robertson talk about their tax plan.

Labour says now is not the time for tax cuts, but rules out an income tax or GST hike.

Pond house problems

Jillian Sinclair is struggling to find a house suitable for her special needs children, and fears she'll have to leave ...

She won a Tenancy Tribunal case against property manager, but still lives there.


Takahe reintroduction on hold

Wild takahe will be released in the Gouland Downs next year.

Bad weather and early breeeding have delayed the release of takahe to the Kahurangi.

Rough sleeping banned

People like Peter Wilkie, left,  will no longer be able to sleep rough overnight in the Nelson CBD.

Nelson City Council bylaw puts in place ban on rough sleeping in city centre.

Holding pattern for poison drop

A drop of brodifacoum-laced poison bait in the Brook Waimarama Sanctuary is designed to wipe out predators before native ...

Preparations for the poison drop in the Brook Waimarama Sanctuary are in a holding pattern as a last-ditch court challenge is heard.

Salisbury School gets extension

Education Minister Nikki Kaye has given Salisbury School more breathing room.

Richmond school heartened by new talks with Ministry of Education about its future.


Cone and the Marlburian video

Mr Whippy franchise owner Len Shaw has sold a lot of ice cream in Marlborough.

Marlborough's Mr Whippy creams the competition, scoops national award.

Crash on SH6

Accident on SH6 near Rai Valley

A woman in her 20s has been hurt in a serious crash in Marlborough

Sawmill fire could have spread

The Kaikoura Volunteer Fire Brigade put out a sawmill fire on Wednesday.

Sparks from a welding winch have set fire to sawdust at a Kaikoura sawmill.

Duck hunter's maimai meltdown

Hunters use maimais during duck shooting season. (File photo)

Enraged man caught illegally hunting tells female ranger she should be at home looking after the children.

South Canterbury

Rare kaki released into wild video

51 kaki were released in the Mackenzie Basin on Tuesday.

Fifty one of the world's rarest wading birds have been released in the Mackenzie Basin.

Truck rolls on Evans St

A police spokewoman said it was understood the driver of this truck swerved to avoid another motorist before rolling on ...

SH1 is closed after a truck rolled as it swerved to avoid a aother vehicle in Timaru.

Disease at third farm

Cows on an a farm near Oamaru look likely to have been infected with the Mycoplasma bovis disease from a Van Leeuwen ...

Cow disease Mycoplasma bovis spreads to a third farm, this one in Oamaru.

Keeping skiers safe on roads

Inspector Dave Gaskin said police would be focusing resources on truck routes through the Mackenzie Country, such as ...

A police campaign to keep drivers safe on alpine roads gets underway on Thursday.


No pool for school

Wakatipu High School principal Steve Hall says students will have to use the Queenstown Event Centre for swimming ...

Wakatipu High School principal is disappointed the new premises won't have a swimming pool.

Airport has record profit

Passenger growth and night flights behind record profit for Queenstown Airport.

Passenger growth and night flights behind record profit for Queenstown Airport.

Builder lived high life, then fled

Former Queenstown builder Jaden Melgren on a duckshooting trip.

Jaden Melgren, who owes at least $670,000, enjoyed a flamboyant Queenstown life as his business slowly collapsed.

DHBs budget blowout

Minister of Health Jonathan Coleman insists there will be no service cuts to DHBs around the country despite forecast ...

Several district health boards around the country are under pressure to reduce budget blowouts.


Polyfest hits new heights video

Members of the Otatara Kindy on stage at Polyfest 2017

''They like the sense of whanau, they feel like they are a part of something."

Hospitality at the heart of the south

Ronald McDonald Family Room supervisor Helen Walker and volunteer Susan Stenton at the Ronald McDonald House ...

Southland's inaugural Purple Work Shirt Day is raising funds for Ronald McDonald House.

'Stubbornness' gets Grieve home

Dwight Grieve from Fiordland leads Jack McNaughton and Buddy Small in the early stages of the Southland championships in ...

Stubbornness and a want to succeed have helped Dwight Grieve claim the Southland Road Championship title in Te Anau on Saturday.

Quick thinking prevents injury

Fire crews attend a house fire on Dipton street, Invercargill, on Sunday afternoon.

An Invercargill family had a close shave following a house fire in Kingswell.

Ad Feedback