Gigantic seabed mining application not NZs future

Whewh. I just got my submission in on Trans-Tasman Resource’s (TTR) application to mine the seabed on the North Island’s West Coast on the last day. I hope you can make a submission today too.

You can read my submission here and you can use the Kiwis Against Seabed Mining handy submission guide here.





Seabed mining is the next great environment battle facing us and risks our oceans. New Zealand is the forefront of this threat and it is vitally important we protect the places we love from extractive activities that cause real damage. Last year the Government of the Northern Territory in Australia became the world’s first government to impose a moratorium on seabed mining, to undertake more research into the impacts of exploration and mining activity.In September this year, the Namibian Government also placed a moratorium on seabed mining because of concerns mining would jeopardise the fishing industry and that there was not solid proof it would not have negative impacts on the environment. New Zealand should follow suit and I am recommending the EPA reject TTR’s application and promote a seabed mining moratorium for New Zealand.

New Zealand’s future lies in protecting the environment that is the basis for our prosperity. We have a wealth of economic development opportunities in clean energy, green tech and smart industries like IT and this is where a richer future for Kiwis will come from, that don’t damage the environment.


26 Comments Posted

  1. As opposed to finding work for New Zealanders to do – mostly for themselves – and bringing greater economic equality our feckless leaders will sell off anything that isn’t nailed down and rape future generations to improve the profits of the owners.

    One of my neighbours expanded recently on the comment about us being “Mexicans with Cellphones” and the way we work for little pay.

    He linked it to our treatment in Australia now.

    Wants to make up a ‘T’ Shirt. A picture of NZ with the caption – “Mexico Australis” or some such. 🙂

    We’re being had. The PM is complicit in the robbery.

  2. Thanks for the link Solkta. I was unaware that TTR intended to export all the iron ore and I am surprised Gareth didn’t mention this.

    Personally I prefer Reason 2 to oppose this application:
    2. Inadequate information
    Both the Government and Trans Tasman Resources (TTR) have neither informed nor consulted properly with the people of New Zealand. We have not had enough time or information to properly understand the effects of seabed mining.


  3. What have New Zealand’s iron needs got to to with anything?

    10 reasons to oppose seabed mining

    10. The economics simply don’t add up

    The economics relating to this application are not good for the region or the nation. The proposal is specifically designed to minimise employment opportunities and does not provide jobs for existing members of coastal communities. There is no adding of value to the resource in New Zealand as it is directly exported to Asia without even coming ashore. These are the risks that this activity poses to the existing national economy through tarnishing New Zealand’s trading advantage: our clean green image.

  4. I haven’t researched the iron industry but 5M tonnes of iron ore a year sounds like a fair bit. How much ore can they actually handle? How much iron does New Zealand need per year (after recycling)?


  5. I think it would be safe to say it was a poor choice of graphic on Gareth’s part. The graphic appears to be a KASM ( one that refers to general possibilities of mining based on the TTR Exploration Permits, rather than being specific to the Mining Application in hand.

    I think it would be also fair to assume, given the level of public opposition, that TTR has put in an application to mine just a small part of the area covered by their Exploration Permit so as to facilitate a thin edge of the wedge.

  6. The linked document also states that 27M cubic meters of sea bed material will be processed each year. If this material is 10m thick, then the area required is 2.7M square meters per year, i.e. 2.7 sq km per year, or about 1.5 rugby fields per day. The proposed mining area (65.76 sq km) is significantly smaller than their permit area.

    It all doesn’t sound too unreasonable to me, although I would have preferred to see this mining done further out in deeper water.


  7. There does seem to be a factor of 10 discrepancy between Gareth’s figures and those in Solkta’s link. The linked document says that there will be 50M Tonnes of sea bed material mined each year, with 5M tonnes of iron ore produced and 45m Tonnes returned. Gareth’s figures state 50M tonnes of ore produced.


  8. John Lawson

    Your first years tax is fully payable by end of year two. Provisional tax is payable in year two to meet both year one and year two income. You do not get to pay no tax in year one, you always have to make it up PLUS pay for the next year as well.

    You pay provisional tax up front based on turnover and income projections

    The amount of provisional tax you need to pay is based on your expected profit for the year or your GST taxable supplies (sales) and depends on the way you choose to work out your provisional tax instalments.

    You are always paying provisional tax up front based on EXPECTED profit.

    What SME’s would like is a system like PAYE where the profit is taxed AFTER it has been received, not upfront as it is now, based on sales projections. Be this payment based on monthly, 6 monthly or annual actual profit figures.

    Currently the state has your SME tax provisions up front and if you have a bad year they will refund the difference owing at the end of the financial year. Not good for cashflow or meeting creditor payments when things are on a short term downer.

    If compared with a PAYE salary or wage earner, just imagine having to pay your tax upfront every year based on your last years income. Loose your job or work less overtime and the state only has to refund your overpaid taxes at the end of the year.

  9. Solkta @10.26am
    That can’t possibly be right can it? After all the picture that Gareth puts at the start of the item shaows an area (the green part in the picture) that is at least four times the size of New Zealand. That must be about one million square Kilometres. He only labels it as being 3020 of course but then talks about 30-50% of the area being destroyed or about 1,000 sq kms.
    You say that it is about 66 sq kms. Surely you can’t be right as that would imply that Gareth had been exaggerating just a little and we know that neither he nor the Green Party would ever do that. At least they never admit to doing that.

  10. dbuckley,

    Biggest bug bear is the provisional tax regime. You get your sales and income forecast wrong (too low) and the IRD have you for not paying enough provisional tax.

    Why cant we pay taxes as we earn the money? Like PAYE wage and salary earners?

    Wonder if the PAYE tax payers would like to pay their taxes upfront instead of as earned.

    Another gripe is GST collection. No rebate or tax deduction for being a state tax collector.

    Again you get this wrong and the IRD are all over you. Just be a month late and oh boy, the letters and their tone has to be seen to be believed.

  11. Gerrit

    I’m not going to employ any staff or invest in capital plant (wealth creation possibilities) without seeing what exactly the Greens mean by simplifying tax compliance.

    Be interrested to see what you as an SME owner would like to see in terms of simplifiying tax compliance for SMEs. Perhaps more usefully, what is it about tax compliance today that bugs you, makes your life difficult. This isn’t necessarily about “how we can put more money directly into Gerrit’s back pocket”, whatever the merits (or otherwise) of that, but what mechanical difficulties you face with the tax system.

  12. The irony is, of course, that this year the Green MPs have had a few blog postings about productivity and the problems we have therewith, with links to appropriate research, research which shows the most productive industries in New Zealand to be… mining…

    Perhaps, contrary to Gareth’s spin, mining is in New Zealand’s future!

  13. Most of this is repetitious and wrong. See my December 20, 2013 at 8:14 AM comment. No party has ever set a budget in advance.

  14. BJ,

    In your own indefatigable manner are actually attacking Gareth Hughes as well.

    He is for a total ban on sea bed mining. You are advocating that the wealth creation and distribution by reference to some sort of “better plan”.

    So are you advocating sea bed mining to enable wealth creation and distribution?

    If not what alternative methods do the “we” have for wealth creation?

    By the way the Greens jobs booklet is nearly out of date and needs updating from 2014 and beyond.

    As an owner of a SME I’m interested what the Greens will do towards SME taxation as outlined in the above linked booklet

    Simplify tax compliance for small businesses with an annual turnover of
    under $1 million;

    I’m not going to employ any staff or invest in capital plant (wealth creation possibilities) without seeing what exactly the Greens mean by simplifying tax compliance.

    Nor am I going to do anything until I see tax rates the Greens will set for SME’s.

    For that the Greens will need to create a shadow budget that shows how the wealth, they plan to redistribute, will be obtained.

    Actually by “attacking” Gareth Hughes (the weakest link) we are displaying tremendous wisdom and foresight.

    It has got you off the couch and discussing wealth creation and distribution. Something sorely lacking in Gareth Hughes’s many anti everything rants.

    For free, you (as an influential Greens member) are getting market feedback on where the Greens are going wrong in encouraging Gareth Hughes anti everything rants.

    That is why my call for the Greens to be FOR something that is wealth creation and offering an example.

  15. This government expects and plans to enrich a few New Zealanders by selling our resources out from under ALL New Zealanders, profits mainly going to foreign buyers, damages mainly suffered by our future generations.

    This is nothing new. The fact that they are pushing it so that deadlines fall in the last days of the year, sneaking it into law like the thieves they are, is nothing new either.

    Commenters above have defended this practice by attacking Gareth. The fact is that the governnment is stealing, from us, from future generations. The fact is that the government has NO plan to economically develop New Zealand and benefit all New Zealanders, but only to sell off as much as it can for the benefit of a FEW, and those mostly NOT New Zealanders. This is their entire strategy and it is scarcely worthy of being spat on. Criminal, treasonous, poisonous, dishonest, greedy lying scum.

    We have a better plan. We have plans that protect New Zealand and make us wealthy through our own work, not by stealing from our children.

    Those of you rising in defence of this by your attacks above, are tarred by association. At very least you have displayed a lack of wisdom and foresight.

  16. The environment is something we all share and live in.

    Oil & mining wreck the environment but make a select few very rich, and they can bugger off to Hawaii when they wreck things here …..

    So Of course greedy John and the Nats support mining

  17. There’s a perfectly good economic policy at which has been publicised, but that’s not new, it’s just waiting a chance to implement it.
    What is new is the proposal to mine the seabed on a large scale. It’s good to see the Greens pushing the alarm buttons on this. Namibia has been mentioned and the report at makes clear the problems of seabed mining. It also says it started in 1962. Namibia was under South African control until 1990.
    Another report worth looking at is of 2012, which concluded that more research is needed to establish the effects of seabed mining. Until that is done and satisfactory solutions found, we shouldn’t be mining the seabed.

  18. Why does Gareth Hughes not champion research such as this?

    How would the Greens encourage this R+D and create business and jobs using waste by products from virtually every plant or wood based industry currently going to waste?

    The Greens keep talking about encouraging green industry but spend precious little time promoting potential business models.

    Maybe Gareth Hughes would be better employed by the Greens being FOR something practical to balance being AGAINST everything, as he is currently employed to do.

  19. Yet again Gareth, you don’t tell the full story. Namibia might have put a moratorium on phosphate mining, but they are diamond dredging from the seabed. In fact, the diamonds are one of their largest exports.

  20. Submissions close 5pm, though I don’t know how strict EPA is on such details. Is it purely chance it’s just before the holiday? Are they going to work on it over the holiday?

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