November 08, 2016
Ngati Ruanui win over mining secrecy
In a blow for the credibility of the Environment Protection Agency, the Environment Court has ruled Trans Tasman Resources must reveal hundreds of pages of blacked-out information on its plan to mine the seabed off Patea.
The EPA withheld parts of the submission from objectors including Ngati Ruanui and Kiwis Against Seabed Mining because it agreed with the company it was commercially sensitive.
But Judge Brian Dwyer yesterday said he did not consider the information a trade secret and the public interest outweighed that of Trans Tasman Resources.
Ngati Ruanui Kaiarataki Debbie Ngarewa-Packer has accused the EPA of getting too close to the company rather than acting as a watchdog for the public interest.
The judgment means the iwi will be able to make submissions based on the new information, which should reveal what research the company has done about the sediment plume thrown up by mining up to 50 million tonnes of sand per year.
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