The High Court continues its second day of hearing appeals against the Environment Protection Authority’s (EPA) approval of an application by Trans-Tasman Resources Limited to undertake seabed mining off the South Taranaki Bight. The appeal by the Taranaki- Whanganui Conservation Board is to be heard today. The Board is an independent statutory body constituted under the Conservation Act. Its functions include conservation management and the Board is concerned to ensure that the EPA’s decision was made in accordance with the statutory tests established under the EEZ legislation.
The decision in favour of Trans-Tasman Resources Limited was announced in August 2017 and required a casting vote from the chairperson of the Authority’s four-member Decision Making Committee.
Board chairperson Brendon Te Tiwha Puketapu said: ‘The Board has focused its appeal on questions of law relating to whether the EPA understood and applied the purpose of the EEZ Act, which includes protecting the environment from pollution, as well as whether the EPA met its statutory requirements to base its decision on the best available information, apply the precautionary principle, and whether the EPA applied a prohibited adaptive management approach.
‘It has also sought to clarify how the EPA should have taken into account the Resource Management Act and in particular the strong directives of the New Zealand Coastal Policy Statement.
‘The Board are looking forward to presenting their concerns before the High Court this week and hope to have these points of law clarified for future applications’, Mr Puketapu said.
Adrienne Corfe, Board Support Officer
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