EPA declines Trans Tasman Resources mining application

updated By Ripeka Timutimu

Taranaki iwi are celebrating a decision to refuse a multimillion dollar company access to mine in their waters.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its decision today to refuse a mining consent application to Trans-Tasman Resources Ltd .

The company proposed to excavate up to 50 million tonnes of sand per year from the seabed around 30 km offshore from the coast of Patea in Taranaki.

In a statement released today the EPA outlined the decision was made mainly due to the uncertainty around the scope and significance of the potential adverse environmental effects, and those on existing interests, such as the Fishing Interests and Iwi.

Trans-Tasman Resources Ltd,  Chief Executive, Tim Crossley says the company was extremely disappointed with the decision. “We have put a significant amount of time and effort into developing this project including consulting with iwi and local communities and undertaking detailed scientific research to assess environmental impacts of the project,”

However the lobby group Kiwis Against Seabed Mining (KASM) saw this as a huge victory for New Zealand's environment, KASM Chair Phil McCabe says, “This decision is a victory for common sense and environmental protection, for the coastal communities right up the North Island’s west coast, for the Maui dolphins that live in the area and for the blue whales that feed there,” 

The committee received 4850 submissions and held hearings in Wellington, Hamilton, Whanganui, Pariroa Marae (Hawera) and New Plymouth during the course of the 25-day hearing.

Te Kāea reporter will have more details on this story and reaction from local Iwi to the decision tonight on Te Kāea at 5:30 and 7:00pm with subtitles.