January 02, 2019
Ngāti Ruanui readies for next round of seabed battle
South Taranaki iwi Ngāti Ruanui is considering a cross appeal over seabed mining off the coast.
Australian-owned Trans Tasman Resources has been granted leave to appeal a High Court judgment which blocked its plans to suck millions of tonnes of sand from the seabed to extract the iron.
It is arguing the Environment Protection Agency was legally correct in granting a marine discharge permit that would allow it to return the processed sand back into the ocean.
It says that consent included a comprehensive set of consent conditions specifically designed to protect the marine environment and existing interests, particularly iwi.
Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Ruanui kaiarataki Debbie Ngarewa Packer says the High Court was correct in rejecting the consent.
But she says the iwi wants comments in the judgment on the impact on tangata whenua to be reconsidered.
She says Ngāti Ruanui expected the company to appeal and is ready.
Mrs Ngarewa Packer blames the Environment Protection Agency and the Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment for allowing the matter to get so far.
She says officials were too close to the extractive sector and failed to warn TTR its application did not take enough account of environmental risks, leading to great expense for the company and its opponents.
Parties have until January 24 to lodge notices of appeal.
The Taranaki Daily News has named Debbie Ngarewa Packer as a finalist in its search for Taranaki 2018 Person of the Year.
She says she accepted the nomination because it was a way to highlight the kaupapa and the interests of tangata whenua in the region.
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