NZ Government Seabed Mining Agenda Exposed! Phil McCabe
Phil McGabe www.kasm.org.nz
After opening up New Zealand's regional parks for mining,
The government realised that harvesting minerals from the sea floor is the new game in town.
International momentum and attention from businesses and government have spurred this move,
Currently, there are many countries looking at programs for exploitation.
New Zealand holds the 5th largest marine estate in the world,
Up to 200 Nautical Miles away from the land is marked as it's Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ)
Accounting for roughly 1% of the planet's surface,
So the potential mining interests and associated risks are voluminous to say the least.
New Zealand isn't the first country to "OK" Seabed mining,
In the case of Papua New Guinea,
The Community didn’t know about it,
Until AFTER they’d already consented.
And the process for approval here, isn't exactly above water either,
so to speak.
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The government's agenda to establish seabed mining in NZ waters is inextricably tied to the foreshore and seabed act of 2005,
Wherein it classified the 12 Nautical Mile strip of seabed around New Zealand to be foreshore,
This is the zone where the mining is going to take place.
Imagine if you will, Giant machines, with more teeth than a Mosasaurus,
Strip mining, LITERALLY STRIP MINING the seabed just off the beach where you catch fish?
The inherently destructive nature of this untried and untested practice cannot be overestimated,
Off the east coast off Taranaki for example,
A proposed mining permit is estimated to extract 50 MILLION tonnes of seabed a YEAR,
That's a HUNDRED AND THIRTY THOUSAND tonnes every DAY.
Nearly SIX THOUSAND tonnes every HOUR.
NINETY PERCENT of it becomes a big SEDIMENT PLUME.
And this is going to be a THIRTY FIVE YEAR contract!
The Seabed Miners don't want to set up shop here though,
Everything's going to sent directly overseas,
And the government gets a share so tiny that it's obscured by the sediment plume.
No factories, no new jobs, no stimulus to the ecomony.
So naturally, the locals who know about this proposal, (if you'll permit me a small pun)
Aren't exactly thrilled by the prospect.
Currently the Seabed Miners are in their 3rd attempt to gain approval,
Twice being denied because of strong public resistance.
This time, there are record numbers of submitters opposing it,
More than any other issue in the history of New Zealand.
The Fishing Industry is against it on the grounds that it'll cripple their livelihood,
Oil & Gas Company ORIGIN is opposing it, as it poses a threat to their rigs in the region.
KASM (Kiwis Against Seabed Mining) has submitted a petition to Parliament and will be appearing before a select committee calling for a moratorium on seabed mining due to concerns about an unsatisfactory regulatory process, the destruction it causes, and of course, to create a national discussion on the issue.
The reason a discussion on a nationwide level is so important at this point,
is because the Seabed Miners have turned the process itself,
into a peculiar game of bobbing for excuses.
And more troublesome, The government isn't even following their own procedures in this instance either,
They've have turned regulations and into some kind of obscure Americas cup last minute rule change and "just bend the rules for the seabed miners one more time" when it comes to environmental safety reports, science and other requirements.
Meaning that the public has a deadline to produce their evidence, but the Seabed Miners keep getting extra extensions while they dig for tobacco science-like methods to convince people that this will not destroy their sea.
KASM is a volunteer organisation who've hired lawyers and scientists to do some of the work and there are costs involved with running the website.
Just put yourself in their shoes,
They have to spend countless hours researching all this stuff, that doesn't necessarily cost,
But, When/if they have to fly to parliament,
drive to a submission hearing,
Pay for parking outside the environment court or something like that,
There are innumerable ways by which costs can spring up.
Where are they going to stay?
What are they going to eat?
How are they going to get around?
I do hope that you recognise the importance of this issue is in the national interest,
And bare in mind that if we stop it here,
We may set a precedent that can prevent this kind of thing happening elsewhere,
To other peoples, in other seas, who depend on the ocean for their very livelihoods and lifestyles alike.
I've been interviewing activists for nearly a decade now,
And when it comes to big companies and government working together,
Activists and volunteer organisations are both the first and last line of defense.
PLEASE GIVE VERY GENEROUSLY TO KASM
I'm sure they'll appreciate the help and keep up the good work in kind.
Become A Member Of KASM:
Bank account Details:
Bank: Kiwibank Limited, Wellington, New Zealand
Account name: KIWIS AGAINST SEABED MINING INCORPORATED
Account no: 38-9018-0518124-00
Swift Code: KIWINZ22
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