NZ’s environment once again at risk from seabed prospectors
Green Party | NZ Scoop
The Government should immediately implement a moratorium on seabed mining, the Green Party said today.
The Green Party is responding to the news that Trans-Tasman Resources has applied to New Zealand Petroleum and Minerals for a 4,436km2 Prospecting Permit offshore along the West Coast of the South Island.
“New Zealand needs to follow the lead of Australia’s Northern Territory and Namibia and put a moratorium on seabed mining,” Green Party oceans spokesperson Eugenie Sage said today.
“Seabed mining is completely experimental and has the potential for major impacts on the seabed, water quality and marine mammals and other marine life.
“A moratorium would avoid the company wasting its resources, and the public having to waste their time mobilising to oppose it to protect our marine environment.
“The two previous seabed mining applications by Tran-Tasman’s have been rejected by the Environmental Protection Agency.
“With less than 0.5 percent of New Zealand’s waters currently protected in marine reserves, and no oceans policy as such, seabed mining is a risk not worth taking,” Ms Sage said.
“With the West Coast a stronghold for Hector’s dolphin, Trans-Tasman will face similar public opposition in the South Island as they did for their applications off the North Island’s West Coast.
“It is vitally important we protect the places we love from extractive activities that cause real damage.
“Our economic future relies on protecting the environment which is the basis for our prosperity. New Zealand’s economic development should be in clean energy, green tech and smart industries like IT, rather than harmful extractive technologies,” Ms Sage said.