‘NO Seabed Mining’ signs have sprung up around Raglan in an eleventh-hour bid by Kiwis Against Seabed Mining to build support in the fight against an international giant which in two weeks will apply for marine consent to mine the iron-rich sands off the south Taranaki coast.
It’s time to “engage”, says Kasm chairperson Phil McCabe, who’s urging locals to register online now with the Raglan-based incorporated society and help fight the move by Trans-Tasman Resources (TTR).
If the seabed mining is allowed by the Environmental Protection Authority, says Phil, it will set a precedent for further activity north, to Raglan and beyond.
Phil’s convinced that with the support of locals prepared to put in submissions, and the expertise of Kasm’s legal and scientific team, TTR’s “ambitious” application to mine the west coast of New Zealand can be stopped.
The company’s go-ahead is not guaranteed, Phil insists, and he sees “big holes” in the plan as far as environmental effects are concerned.
“We have a pretty dynamic environment here,” he says of west coast swells and currents, “and they (TTR) need to understand it much better before digging.”
Meanwhile, timely support for the cause has come this week from keen Italian tramper Tommasi Lizzi who stayed overnight on Sunday at Solscape Eco Retreat before continuing his 3000km walk the length of New Zealand in support of Kasm.
He’s hoping to raise public awareness of seabed mining, and his progress can be followed on facebook’s Te Araroa Trail Against Seabed Mining.
“A long way to go, a long way to learn by nature,” is the mantra by which he walks.
Phil this week also urged residents to erect signs of support for Kasm on their own fencelines now visitor numbers to Raglan are on the rise again. Signs are already in place at The Herbal Dispensary and Raglan Roast, while there’s also signage at Te Uku Store and alongside busy stretches of road.
A Kasm signwriting workshop during ‘Sustainable September’ provided the catalyst for several of the signs now on display.
Phil told the Chronicle there’s only a 20 working-day window of opportunity for submissions – from the end of this month and into November – once TTR has lodged the application it’s talked about since 2005.
“Now is the time to engage,” he says,” because the time to act is just a few weeks away.”