Greenpeace has today launched a new petition calling on the New Zealand Government to ban seabed mining from the waters of Aotearoa.
The petition calls on Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to give New Zealand another world first, and ban the emerging industry that poses risks to the ocean and climate.
For years, iwi, environmentalists and communities in Aotearoa have been holding back the world’s first at-scale seabed mine from opening off the coast of Taranaki. They have fought to keep mining company Trans Tasman Resources (TTR) from getting access to the South Taranaki Bight – a blue whale, māui dolphin and blue penguin habitat.
Jessica Desmond, oceans campaigner at Greenpeace, says a legislative ban is needed to ensure the long term health of the ocean.
“TTR has been vying to access the South Taranaki seabed for years, where they want to suck up a 66 square kilometre area for thirty years,” she says.
“Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Ruanuii, the trustees of Te Kaahui Rauru, Kiwis Against Seabed Mining, Greenpeace and other concerned groups have been holding them off so far, but we need legislation to keep the door shut on them, and others like them who will come knocking.
“New Zealand is often seen as a beacon of environmental progress, and our Government should be the first to draw a firm line in the sand against this dangerous new industry.
“In doing this, they could set an example for the rest of the world, and keep the ocean safe from the huge risks posed by seabed mining.
“The ocean is under pressure like never before. We cannot protect it if we continue to find new ways to exploit it. Extractive industries have done so much damage to our blue planet, we must not repeat old mistakes in the hope of a different outcome.”