The Green Party is today celebrating a landmark decision by the Government to support a moratorium on seabed mining in international waters.
“Thanks to months of pressure from the Green Party, Deep Sea Conservation Coalition, Greenpeace, ocean advocates, and the public in Aotearoa and the Pacific, we are closer than ever to stopping the reckless pursuit of deep sea mining under the high seas,” says the Green Party’s oceans and fisheries spokesperson, Eugenie Sage.
“We are delighted that the Government is finally putting the health of our ocean’s seabed, ecosystems and marine life ahead of the profits of international mining corporations.
“For months, Ministers have declined to back a moratorium on deep sea mining, preferring instead to rely on the International Seabed Authority (ISA) to come up with an environmental management regime that would apply to the mining industry.
“Today’s announcement confirms what the Green Party has said all along: that the ISA is simply not up to the job of protecting the seabed.
“Even while negotiations at the ISA have been happening, large mining corporations have been gearing up to plunder pristine ocean ecosystems and exploit the seafloor for profit.
“The Green Party has worked alongside ocean advocates to stop this from happening - and today, thanks to Minister Mahuta’s decision, we have taken a huge step forward.
“Ever since the Government of Nauru triggered a fast track process that could see deep sea mining start as early as July 2023, the Green Party has aligned with environmental organisations, iwi and with our Pacific neighbours who have been outspoken about the risks of deep sea mining.
“We are delighted that the Government has decided to stand up to mining companies.
“Preserving the health of our oceans is essential for the climate and people’s way of life all around the world. With public, iwi and Green Party pressure, the Government has taken action to protect this most fragile and most important of ecosystems.
“With more Green MPs we can take further action to protect ocean health, including protecting our territorial sea and our Exclusive Economic Zone from deepsea mining. The next step has to be having a consistent policy which protects the seabed from mining across the high seas, and in the waters within Aotearoa New Zealand’s jurisdiction,” says Eugenie Sage.