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Green Party will stop destructive sea-bed mining in whale habitat

The Green Party will stop destructive sea-bed mining in Taranaki with a moratorium on all sea-bed mining, to protect the habitat of several whale species, including blue whales.

The comments follow a decision by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to grant consent for Trans-Tasman Resources Limited (TTRL) to mine iron ore off the coast of Taranaki.

“The Green Party is standing up Taranaki iwi and the thousands of New Zealanders who oppose sea-bed mining. TTR’s proposal is in the place where the world’s largest whales feed and the smallest dolphins live, so why would we risk it with experimental seabed mining?” said Green Party mining spokesperson Gareth Hughes.

“This decision protects the financial interests of a mining company, not the local people or our oceans.

“The EPA received 13,417 submissions calling for the application to be declined, and only 147 submissions in support, so it’s clear that the people haven’t been listened to here, especially mana whenua.

“The area to be mined includes the feeding grounds for many species of marine mammals, including the Blue Whale and Maui’s Dolphin, of which there are only a handful of adults left.

“TTR are going to suck up 50 million tonnes of seabed per year, extract the iron ore and dump 45 million tonnes of sediment back.

“The EPA hasn’t protected the environment in granting this consent, and has failed New Zealanders today,” said Mr Hughes.