Iwi unite to op­pose iron-sand min­ing

Stratford Press - - News -

South Taranaki iwi are united in their op­po­si­tion to the iron-sand min­ing pro­posed off­shore from Pa¯ tea.

Ear­lier this month Te Ka¯ hui o Rauru, with Te Ohu Kaimoana (the Ma¯ ori Fish­eries Trust) joined neigh­bours Nga¯ ti Ruanui in lodg­ing a cross-ap­peal to min­ing com­pany Trans-Tas­man Re­sources’ at­tempt to over­turn a High Court judg­ment that ended its abil­ity to mine.

The com­pany was given con­sent to mine in Au­gust 2017, but iwi, en­vi­ron­men­tal and fish­ing in­ter­ests ap­pealed the con­sent to the High Court.

The court’s Jus­tice Peter Church­man said grant­ing a dis­charge con­sent on in­suf­fi­cient in­for­ma­tion was un­law­ful, and sent the mat­ter back to the En­vi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Author­ity.

Trans-Tas­man Re­sources then ap­pealed that de­ci­sion, and the mat­ter will be heard in the Ap­peal Court — with ur­gency, the com­pany hopes.

Ki­wis Against Seabed Min­ing and Green­peace have joined in a cross-ap­peal, want­ing to up­hold Jus­tice Church­man’s de­ci­sion and also en­sure the bar­ri­ers to seabed min­ing are as high as pos­si­ble.

Nga¯ Rauru sup­ports this. It wants those con­sid­er­ing any fu­ture con­sent to take a pre­cau­tion­ary ap­proach, in­sist on hav­ing the best in­for­ma­tion avail­able and recog­nise the kaiti­aki (guardian) role of iwi and the in­ter­ests of fish­ers.

Nga¯ Rauru will al­ways de­fend their moana, which is their marae, chief ex­ec­u­tive An­neMarie Broughton said.

“The ocean is our Marae Moana so there’s no dif­fer­ence to us.”

Stay­ing in the court bat­tle would cost the iwi, Broughton said, but it had to pro­tect the ocean, which was al­ready at cri­sis point.

The iwi is mak­ing its own ef­fort to grow the re­gional econ­omy with its Kaitahi The Na­tive Su­per­food Com­pany launched in June. The com­pany aims to sell frozen smoothie drops.

“We’re fac­ing off against the big seabed min­ing in­dus­tries with kai Ma¯ ori and kaiti­ak­i­tanga be­cause we be­lieve en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion and sus­tain­able eco­nomic growth is the way to go,” Broughton said.

Nga¯ ti Ruanui lodged a cross­ap­peal much ear­lier.

It has en­gaged ex­pe­ri­enced lawyer Richard Fowler QC.

Iwi chief ex­ec­u­tive Deb­bie Ngarewa-Packer said Gov­ern­ment was look­ing to end new oil and gas prospect­ing, and it was dis­ap­point­ing min­ing pro­grammes were not in­cluded.

Off­shore min­ing did not align with its car­bon-neu­tral and eco­nomic poli­cies.

PHOTO / SUP­PLIED

Nga¯ Rauru chief ex­ec­u­tive Anne-Marie Broughton was with kauma¯ tua Te Huia Bill Hamil­ton be­fore his trip Europe to talk to a United Na­tions com­mit­tee in June.

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