November 30, 2016
Council connivance on seabed mining revealed
Ngati Ruanui is calling out the South Taranaki District Council for collusion and incompetence in its handling of an application to mine the seabed off Patea for iron sand.
Chief executive Debbie Ngarewa Packer says the iwi got suspicious when the council put up a weak submission about Trans-Tasman Resources’ resource consent application.
An Official Information Act search uncovered correspondence from council chief executive Craig Stevenson advising the Australian company how to address critics and sell the project to ratepayers.
Ms Packer says other documents show the council didn’t properly assess the project’s economic and environment implications.
It points to a systemic problem for Maori.
"Local government have an absolute poor relationship with its tangata whenua and they will put the mighty dollar above every other values-based aspect of council responsibilities. We've seen it in a cultural sense in New Plymouth. We've seen it in environmental and social situations with us here in south Taranaki," Ms Packer says.
She says local government refuses to support the role Maori have as kaitaki of their natural resources.
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