April 18, 2018
Whale sanctuary at risk from sand miners
A High Court case in Wellington this week could affect the Greens' hope of creating a marine sanctuary in the South Taranaki Bight.
Fishing companies, environmental groups and iwi including Ngati Ruanui and Nga Rauru want the court to overturn a consent granted by the Environmental Protection Agency to take 50 million tonnes of iron sand from the seafloor each year for 35 years.
Mr Shaw says it's the breeding ground of blue whales and other endangered marine mammals, which is why the Greens included the sanctuary proposal in its confidence and supply agreement with the Government.
"We've got some pretty serious doubts about the amount of environmental harm ocean floor mining may cause. It's unproven technology around the world and it is obviously pretty significant in terms of the numbers they are talking about," he says.
Mr Shaw he is also looking closely at an application to the Environmental Protection Agency for a water conservation order over the aquifer feeding Te Waikoropupu Springs in Golden Bay, because underground water resourcves need far more protection than they are getting now.
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