High Court appeal over seabed mining

An appeal against the Environmental Protection Authority’s decision to grant Trans-Tasman Resources a marine consent to dig up the seabed in the South Taranaki Bight has been heard in the High Court in Wellington this week.

In August 2017, Trans-Tasman Resources was granted an application to dig up 50 million tonnes of the seabed a year in a 66 square kilometre section of the South Taranaki Bight – for 35 years.

Kiwis Against Seabed Mining (KASM) and Greenpeace appealed on 12 points of law, including the issue of what is called “adaptive management” whereby an activity like seabed mining is allowed to go ahead, adapting the conditions on which it occurs along the way.

Other issues raised in the appeal included natural justice, the way economic benefits have been calculated, and the role of the precautionary approach.

The full list of appellants:

KASM & Greenpeace, local iwi Te Runagnga o Ngati Ruanui and Te Kaahui o Rauru;  Forest and Bird;  the Taranaki Whanganui Conservation Board; Fisheries Inshore New Zealand Limited, New Zealand Federation of Commercial Fisherman Inc, Talleys Group Ltd, Southern Inshore Fisheries Management Company Ltd and Cloudy Bay Clams Ltd; Te Ohu Kai Moana Trustee Limited.

Read more on the appeal