Iwi fight against proposed seabed mining in their kāinga

For years, Trans Tasman Resources (TTR), an Australian mining company, has applied to mine iron sand off the coast of Taranaki. Local iwi have been fighting back against the intrusion at every step.

In this week’s episode Ohinga travelled to Taranaki to meet Rukutai Watene, one of the locals that has stood against TTR’s plans. 

After initially receiving resource consent to extract iron ore from the seabed in 2017, this decision was challenged by opponents including local iwi and overturned in the High Court in 2018. 

In 2021 The Supreme Court unanimously dismissed TTR’s appeal. 

The area holds immense cultural and historic significance for the iwi and they’re concerned about the impacts of the proposed mining on a marine environment that has huge value to the local community. 

In a statement to Ohinga, TTR said the mining project would pose no negative environmental or cultural impacts. They emphasised the economic benefits the project would bring.

TTR now hopes the Government’s new fast-tracking consent bill will be the project’s way forward. 

This is part of our reo Māori series, Ohinga, created by @mahitahiagency with funding from @te_mangai_paho. Stay tuned for a new episode every week.

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