Like the decision to turn down Trans-Tasman Resources Ltd’s application to mine iron sands on the West Coast, and Hawkes Bay Regional Council’s application for a one nutrient solution for the Tukituki it comes as no surprise to hear that a Board of Inquiry has turned down Chatham Rock Phosphate Ltd’s application to mine phosphorite nodules on the Chatham Rise. Why is this no surprise you might well ask. All these applications had one thing in common, environmentalists who had serious concerns about the applications were ignored. Trans-Tasman Resources Ltd and Chatham Rock Phosphate Ltd were both unable to demonstrate how the environment they wished to exploit was going to be protected. Similarly the Hawkes Bay Regional Council ignored concerns raised about the one nutrient solution at the initial stakeholders meetings and ploughed on regardless. Unfortunately, unlike Trans-Tasman Resources Ltd and Chatham Rock Phosphate Ltd who are private companies and are welcome to waste their shareholders money, the decision to plough on before alleviating the genuine concerns of environmentalists has cost the ratepayers of Hawkes Bay millions of dollars, and with the clock ticking to the tune of $250,000 per month, potentially millions more. I think it is high time those councillors who are enthralled by the dam’s promoters need to admit that they got it wrong and that without the right to pollute the economics just don’t stack up.
Submitted 11/2/15, Published 13/2/15