December 06, 2016
Regulators ignore iron sands evidence
A south Taranaki iwi says its efforts to uncover what’s happening with the proposed mining of iron sand off its coast has revealed major deficiencies in the agencies which are supposed to regulate and monitor the project.
Ngati Ruanui says despite being ordered to do so by the Environment Court, the Environment Protection Agency has failed to turn over critical videos.
The videos show computer models developed by the National Institute for Water and Atmosphere of the likely sediment plume once Trans Tasman Resources starts dredging thousands of tonnes of sand.
Chief executive Debbie Ngarewa Packer says it’s in keeping with the obstruction the iwi has faced throughout the process.
Even worse the EPA, which is supposed tom assess whether the project is environmentally sound, admitted it had not viewed the videos.
"What we’ve seen is absolute incomptence from Environmental Protection Agency, Dept of Conservation, South Taranaki Local Council our local government who are sort of saying well we agree with it even though we haven't accessed the application. What we are seeing is a whole bunch of professionals paid a whole lot of money who actually don't know what they are doing. We are actually convinced now we should be hugely alarmed because not only can they not assess the application they sure as heck won't be able to monitor," she says.
Debbie Ngarewa Packer says what happens off the coast of Patea will affect seabed mining applications around New Zealand.
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