Fears NZ will weaken laws to allow experimental seabed mining

MP Gareth Hughes fears the government will weaken laws to suit their mates in the mining industry

MP Gareth Hughes fears the government will weaken laws to suit their mates in the mining industry

EEZ Act to loosen seabed mining rules?

Frances Cook | Newstalk ZB

It’s feared last minute legislation for the Maui gas fields will be used to sneak through a loosening of the rules for seabed mining.

The government’s today introducing emergency changes to the Exclusive Economic Zone Act, to allow the Maui platforms to keep drilling through the appeal process if anyone objects to the permit being renewed in June.

Labour leader Andrew Little says if the permit process had been started before now, there wouldn’t have been a problem.

“It’s a law change required because the minister hasn’t kept up with what’s required under his portfolio.”

Green MP Gareth Hughes says it’s unclear what will be buried in the fine print.

“The signs are it looks like a big rewrite. The minister wouldn’t rule out making it easier for seabed mining companies to apply and I think the worst outcome was if they were to make it easier for their corporate mates.”

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Filed under Environmental impact, New Zealand

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