Today’s release from Forest and Bird revealing the issuing of a new permit allowing prospecting for minerals off the Whanganui Taranaki coast and off the Taranaki Waikato Coast has raised concern from local MP for Te Tai Hauauru, Tariana Turia.
“What makes it worse, is that Trans-Tasman Resources has not only been granted a prospecting permit for 6319 sq km of the West Coast seabed, but now we find there’s another application in the pipeline for another 2284 sq km of seabed licence on the Taranaki Continental Shelf" (22 April)".
“The scope of the environmental impact is such that it potentially threatens areas of special cultural significance to iwi across Te Tai Hauauru” said Mrs Turia.
“The prospecting permit application is to extract garnet, gold, iron, magnesium, rutile, titanium, and zircon from an area which includes both Kawhia and Raglan Harbours and the Mokau River in north Taranaki” said Tariana Turia.
“The exploration permit crosses over three regional councils and eight territorial authorities” said Mrs Turia.
“We will be keen to hear what mana whenua across these areas think about the impact of the prospecting application”.
“We know too, the traumatic impacts such prospecting can cause on our highly vulnerable and critically endangered, Maui’s dolphins” said Mrs Turia.
“The threat of the Trans-Tasman exploration, along with other activity in the northwest coast creates a level of risk which is unacceptable, if we have any intention of protecting these rare creatures” said Mrs Turia.
“With only 111 Maui dolphins remaining in the world, we must take particular care to prevent any further impacts on their survival”.