February 16, 2017
South Taranaki iron sands hearings start
Protesters were out this morning outside Wellington's Westpac Stadium to mark the start of hearings on whether Australian ciompany Trans Tasman Resources should be allowed to mine iron ore from the seabed off south Taranaki.
The application is opposed by iwi, fishing companies, environmentalists and a wide spectrum of community groups along the North Island west coast.
Phil McCabe of Kiwis Against Seabed Mining says there is concern the Environmental Protection Authority has bent over backwards for the applicant, which is paying for the hearing, by not holding any hearings in the affected area.
It is also not allowing full cross examination of witnesses.
He can see no reason the application should be approved.
"There's lots of scientific information or evidence showing it is unacceptable and there are still high levels of uncertainty around the effects. The Exclusive Economic Zone legislation says where there is uncertainty around the effects, the decision makers should favour caution. That would mean declining it. From our perspective that is where the science sits, that there is not enough information to make a confident decision," Mr McCabe says.
Ngati Ruanui and Nga Rauru will make their submissions when hearings move to New Plymouth next month.
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