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Taranaki's Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Ruanui has welcomed news that a member's bill to ban seabed mining will finally enter the parliamentary process.
“Ngāti Ruanui is thrilled to hear that Debbie Ngarewa-Packer's bill to ban seabed mining was drawn from the ballot. The iwi wholeheartedly supports this bill, as we have relentlessly fought for our moana (sea) and taiao (environment) for the last 8-years,” Rūnanga kaiwhakahaere, Rachel Rae, said in a statement Friday.
“Iwi, ‘apū, and w’ānau have been protesting, marching, signing petitions to stop these big corporations in their footsteps."
The battle and journey has been huge but this latest news is another small step in the right direction, she said.
If passed into law, Rae said the bill will:
- Ban seedbed mining nationwide, within the exclusive economic zone and Aotearoa’s coastal waters.
- Prohibit the ability to apply for exploration rights for seabed mining under the crown minerals act.
- Retrospectively withdraw existing seedbed mining consents and exploration rights.
“The bill will give parliament a real chance to take urgent action against an industry that is continuing with grave consequences for papatūānuku.
“The government have not done enough to address environmental polluters and exploiters. Seabed mining is an example of exploiting the sea, taking without consideration for the damage created.
“As kaitiaki of our coastal shoreline, we want this form of environmental destruction prohibited,” said Rae.