13-Feb-2015

Report on the CRP resource consent to mine phosphate on the Chatham Rise.

Tena tatou katoa whanau

I'm pleased to report that the Decision Making Committee (DMC) of the EPA has released it's report on the CRP resource consent to mine phosphate on the Chatham Rise.  The DMC has refused the resource consent. 

This is a significant decision and shows that we can be listened to when we front foot these issues.  I am proud of what our community has achieved in standing up for our environment and for our future. 

In essence, the DMC noted the following in declining the consent:

  • The destructive impact of the drag head on the seabed and benthic fauna in an on the seabed was of concern given that;
    • They could not be avoided, remedied, or mitigated
    • The area was currently protected from trawling and dredging by the Mid Chatham Rise Benthic Protection Area
    • The area had rare and vulnerable ecosystems
    • The habitat would not return over time to its present condition
  • Return of waste material to the sea floor would have an adverse impact on the environment
  • The DMC was left with a lack of certainty on the impact on the environment
  • The DMC could not place reliance on the potential economic benefits as a potential off-setting factor

The DMC further found that:

"The destructive effects of the extractive activity, coupled with the potentially significant impact of the deposition of sediment on the areas adjacent to the mining blocks and on the wider marine environment, could not be mitigated by any set of conditions or adaptive management regime that might reasonably be imposed."

At this stage the applicants have three options available to them:
  • Appeal the decision - this can only be on a question of law
  • Resubmit the application
  • Discontinue
The report is attached and is some 320 pages long: 

Commercial Fisheries Technical Postlodgement Review Commercial Fisheries Technical Postlodgement Review (3436 KB)



Naku noa

Paula Page
Trust Chair