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Trans-Tasman Resources loses appeal to mine ironsands off Taranaki coast

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Christian Fernsby ▼ | April 4, 2020
The Court of Appeal has dismissed an attempt by Trans-Tasman Resources to overturn a 2018 High Court decision quashing the original consents.
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Instead the Court of Appeal has found there were multiple errors of law in the approach of the Environmental Protection Authority's decision making committee (DMC) when granting the original consents.

Topics: Trans-Tasman Resources

It said the committee, which required the casting vote of its chair to grant the consents, focused too much on managing the impact of the proposed project instead of its primary objective of protecting the environment.

"The DMC erred in focusing on the sustainable management objective that applies to all marine consents under the Exclusive Economic Zone Act, and failing to give separate and explicit consideration to the environmental bottom line of protecting the environment from pollution caused by discharges of harmful substances."

The Court also found Treaty of Waitangi principles were not adhered to.

"The kaitiakitanga relationship between tangata whenua and the marine environment and its resources is a relevant "existing interest". That kaitiakitanga relationship includes, but is not limited to, the stewardship and use of natural resources such as kai moana. The cultural and spiritual elements of kaitiakitanga must also be considered."

Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Ruanui and Te Kaahui o Rauru were among a group including, iwi, environmental and fisheries groups that lodged cross appeals.