Laurel Stowell | Wanganui Chronicle
South Taranaki tribe Ngati Ruanui has spent too long opposing seabed mining offshore from Patea to stop now.
It’s joining with Kiwis Against Seabed Mining (KASM) to support the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) decision to refuse Trans-Tasman Resources’ application to mine offshore in the South Taranaki Bight.
Te Runanga o Ngati Ruanui Trust chief executive officer Debbie Ngarewa-Packer said the iwi had applied to be part of the High Court case as Trans-Tasman Resources (TTR) appeals that decision. Yesterday was the deadline for registering to take part.
She was hoping others would want to support the decision of the EPA committee – other iwi perhaps, or fisheries groups. Being part of the case could be expensive, and the parties might be able to get together and share different aspects of it, and the costs. She was unsure what would be covered in the High Court, but if it called on different opinions or advice Ngati Ruanui wanted to be there to give its view. It had lawyers ready, and had extensive experience on resource exploitation matters. It was also handling the ironsand issue within the Iwi Chairs’ Forum.
The iwi was bitterly disappointed that TTR had appealed the decision.
“At the EPA hearing we outlined cultural and environmental concerns and expressed concern at TTR’s poor consultation,” Mrs Ngarewa-Packer said.