Iwi takes shot at EPA over 'redacted' mining videos

Iwi takes shot at EPA over 'redacted' mining videos

A South Taranaki iwi has accused the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) of not releasing videos it says were redacted from an application to mine ironsands of the region’s coast.

Trans Tasman Resources has advised the High Court it is abandoning its appeal.

Photo: Biosphoto / Michel Rauch

Trans Tasman Resources is seeking consent to mine millions of tonnes of ironsand from up to 66 square kilometres of seabed just off the coast near Patea.

Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Ruanui Trust kaiarataki, Debbie Ngarewa-Packer, said the Environment Court required the authority to release all of the redacted material in Trans-Tasman Resources marine consents application.

The videos gave a visual representation of the company’s plans and were a vital piece of the puzzle, Ms Ngarewa-Packer said.

She said the iwi was losing faith in the EPA’s ability to do its job properly.

“It just seems to be incompetent step after incompetent step throughout this whole TTR application, and this is the agency responsible for monitoring the seabed mining activity if it goes ahead.”

The Environmental Protection Authority said while videos were referred to, no video material was included in TTR’s application.

Therefore all redacted material had been released in accordance with the Environment Court’s direction, it said.

Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Ruanui Trust chairman Haimona Maruera Jnr said the iwi was becoming increasingly frustrated.

“This proposed project will be devastating to our coastline and seabed yet the EPA appear to be working against the South Taranaki community.”

Mr Maruera Jnr said the iwi would seek further direction from the Environment Court on its belief that the EPA had failed to release the videos.

It would also seek a further extension of the time for public submissions on the project, he said.

Submissions are due to close on 12 December.

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Published at Sat, 03 Dec 2016 18:19:45 +0000