web analytics

Brownlee pushes undersea mining

Written By: - Date published: 12:04 pm, May 9th, 2010 - 37 comments
Categories: Conservation, Mining - Tags: , ,

The Herald has an article on the government investigating the mining potential of seamounts. These are extinct underwater volcanoes, which are rich in unique sea life and ecologies that include some of our most important fisheries, and minerals.

We know that on-shore mining is environmentally destructive, underwater mining would be magnitudes worse – indiscriminate dredging and drilling that would devastate those environments and the fisheries that depend on them.

Ludicrously, Gerry Brownlee claims the government isn’t planning to mine the seamounts. Yeah, they just send out a NIWA research vessel to investigate the mineral potential of the seamounts for the hell of it.

Brownlee says: “We have no plans whatsoever to prospect offshore”. The truth is, Brownlee has already given underwater mining the go ahead.

You’ll remember Widespread Portfolios, the mining company that Murray McCully owns shares in. Back in February, Brownlee issued a permit to Widespread Portfolios for prospecting 4,700 sqkm of the Chatham Rise. They’re hoping to mine phosphates.

It’s a separate range of seamounts from the ones the NIWA vessel Tangaroa is currently investigating but the Widespread Portfolios website says that they have contracted NIWA for exploratory work. So, we can expect Tangaroa will be doing more work in preparation for undersea mining in the coming months.

Brownlee needs to stop being so secretive and undemocratic. He needs to front up with his plans to mine valuable and irreplaceable ecologies.

37 comments on “Brownlee pushes undersea mining ”

  1. greenfly 1

    Please please please can Gerry be the onsite observer!!!

    http://www.impactlab.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/Underwater-Man-576.jpg

  2. Draco T Bastard 2

    He needs to front up with his plans to mine valuable and irreplaceable ecologies.

    If he does that then he’ll be going against the modus operandi of the government.

  3. Bored 3

    Gerry disgusts me with his trite little defense line “everyday we use things that are a result of mining”…..of course we do and we accept that there is some need to mine. He does not seem to have caught up with the actual environmental costs he proposes and opened them to debate. Rather he is rewarding a self serving lobby who dont see species or ecosystems, only minerals and money.

    One thing you can be sure of, if we asked those same self serving people to mine Gerrys head they would demure, they have pretty much proven theres nothing inside it of any note or worth.

  4. vto 4

    open cast?

  5. Croc 5

    Which important NZ fisheries are you referring to?

    According to MoF the deep-water fisheries in our EEZ include six of our 10 most important commercial species of fish squid, hoki, orange roughy, ling, hake, and jack mackerel. Only one of those, orange roughy spawns on sea mounts. Apart from the odd Hoki (ie negligible amounts) all other species in the top 10 species never encounter sea mounts.

    The situation is bad enough without resorting to hyperbole.

    • Marty G 5.1

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chatham_Rise

      The Chatham Rise (where the permit Brownlee issued is for) is New Zealand’s most important fishing ground.

      Seamounts are important fisheries because they create upwells that bring nutrients into the photosynthetic zone – offering an opportunity for life that doesn’t exist elsewhere offshore.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.2

      Ah, another from the ignorance is bliss brigade.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artificial_reef

      An artificial reef is a human-made underwater structure, typically built for the purpose of promoting marine life in areas of generally featureless bottom.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seamount

      Seamounts often project upwards into shallower zones more hospitable to sea life, providing habitats for marine species that are not found on or around the surrounding deeper ocean bottom.

      Reefs and sea mounts tend to promote a massive diversity of marine life that just isn’t found anywhere else.

      • Croc 5.2.1

        Yeah, I’m well aware of this. I trained as a marine ecologist and work in fisheries now. My point is perhaps a pedantic one, but the statement was made that sea mounts contain “some of our most important fisheries” which simply isn’t true. Sea mounts are spawning grounds for orange roughy yes. But not really important for any other major NZ fishery.

        I also take point with the “The Chatham Rise (where the permit Brownlee issued is for) is New Zealand’s most important fishing ground.” Based on what? Sheer tonnage of fish taken from that area, or value or what exactly?

        Don’t get me wrong, I agree with you wholeheartedly that sea mounts are unique features with diverse ecological and in many cases endemic species to each particular sea mount and should not be mined (let alone fished…). Perhaps you can step down from that ‘ignorance is bliss brigade’ high horse and take some advice from someone who has actually been on a fishing boat on the Chatham Rise? Your call.

        • Marty G 5.2.1.1

          fair enough but your point seems a bit pedantic. If I understand, you’re not arguing that seamounts aren’t important ecologies or vital for our fishing industry, you’re arguing over the definition of fishery. Like I say, fair enough.

  6. Jenny 6

    Now that Maori have been promised rights over the Seabed and Foreshore.

    Theoretically couldn’t Maori spike Brownlee’s plans?

    • Draco T Bastard 6.1

      Theoretically, I suppose – if you believe that such wasn’t part of the plan in the first place.

    • Jenny,

      I have a question for you.

      To the others please don’t mind me and apologies because I don’t want to threadjack OK but I don’t have another way of contacting Jenny.

      A couple of weeks ago you wrote that the Waihopai satellite dish was moved to neutral position even though the deflated cover could damage the dish with it’s weight.

      My question is how do you know this and where could I verify?

      Capcha: researchs. I swear this thing is sentient.

      [lprent: ‘sentient’ – After poking around in its brain for a while, I’d say that bacteria have better written code. ]

  7. Sonny Blount 7

    Labour awarded Neptune Minerals licences to mine over 50,000 km^2 of seafloor including over 50 seamounts in 2006.

    • mach1 7.1

      Do you mean the 2005 permits to sample with NIWA monitoring the sampling operations to provide an independent baseline environmental impact assessment, Or are you referring to Neptune preparing to lodge its first mining licence application in New Zealand to meet its goal of trial mining by 2010?,

      • Sonny Blount 7.1.1

        I refer to prospecting licences PL39 195(Kermadec) granted 2002, PL39 194(Monowai) granted 2006, amd PL39 205(Colville) granted 2006.

  8. Sonny Blount 8

    Trans Tasman Resources were granted licences (permit 50383) to prospect over 6000 km^2 off the coast of Taranaki and Waikato (Maui dolphion habitat) in 2008.

    • lprent 8.1

      I must say that the detail of debate has improved. Someone actually referring to the license numbers rather than repeating spinsters waffle…

      Help me out though, is there a place to read these online? I can’t seem to see a government site (work is so distracting)…

      • Sonny Blount 8.1.1

        I can’t get the crown minerals map to load so I got that info off the companies own websites.
        TTR was linked to in a Herald article from may 2008 iirc.

  9. When the mining thing started to emerge I added the black sands from Auckland to Taranaki to the list of threatened areas.

    The attention is now being turned to the undersea mountains and I predict that the next one is those black sands. Relatively easy to mine, rich in metals and they have been prospecting them already.

    A classic switch and bait, switch and bait. I mean how can a bit of sand dredging hurt. Yeah right.

  10. Dammed 11

    Our EEZ is an interesting challenge.
    It is about 10 times bigger than our dry land size.
    What are we going to do with it?
    If we don’t do something with it – sure as heck someone else will!

    • Marty G 11.1

      Um, do you understand the meaning of ‘Exclusive Economic Zone’? That means no-one else can do anything with it unless we give permission.

      • RedLogix 11.1.1

        Why are we even discussing this? Apparently the seabed never belonged to the Crown and therefore the notion of an EEZ is pure fairytale.

        It belongs to various iwi, and the notion of our ‘permission’ is a risible nonsense. Please stop talking as if New Zealand had anything to do with it.

  11. Zak Creedo 12

    Gee.. something never change.. It was martyG blogging the time I was here before to suggest that seamounts could use some constructive scrutiny.. because, people, they are known by virtue of location/s to aid ocean movements, impacts, swells and corrosion of shore lines.. methinks — emphasis thinks — how maybe some rearranging of said seamounts could render more beneficial oceanic movements etc..

    And yes, MartyG, you came on strong about cracking up ecosystems, a feature I had not overlooked at all, but opted to have folks consider maybe loss of some eco someplace in exchange for more nenign ocean activity around and along many coastal places human beings have come to make a life for themselves..

    Scrutiny.. then mebbe measure and monitor — Science-based of course — then constructive options.. rather than what looks here as all too often blind condemnation.

    • Marty G 12.1

      Gee. that’s some pretty serious geo-engineering you’re talking based on a hunch – pretty big costs for supposed gains.

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Bill to transform drinking water safety passes
    The Government today passed legislation that will transform drinking water safety and improve environmental outcomes for our wastewater and stormwater networks. “The Water Services Act gives Taumata Arowai the legal authority to carry out its duties as New Zealand’s dedicated water regulator. This represents a major transformational advance for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • Trade and Export Growth Minister Damien O’Connor to travel to Europe and US to support economic re...
    Trade and Export Growth Minister Damien O’Connor will travel to Europe and the United States on Thursday this week to advance New Zealand’s trade and economic interests with key partners, including representing New Zealand at the G20 Trade Ministers’ Meeting in Italy. It follows recent engagement between Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • Asia New Zealand Foundation Chair and Board members announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced the appointment of Dame Fran Wilde, DNZM, QSO, as the new Chair to the Board of the Asia New Zealand Foundation – Te Whītau Tūhono. “Dame Fran Wilde has been a trustee since 2019 and I am confident that her experience and deep ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Latest KiwiSaver Annual Report shows promising benefits for members
    The latest KiwiSaver Annual Report from the Financial Markets Authority (FMA), highlights how Government’s recent policy tweaks have positively benefitted New Zealanders, Commerce and Consumer Affairs Dr David Clark said today. “Fourteen people so far have withdrawn their funds early thanks to a rule modification made in March this year. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • Reasons for permitted travel across Alert Level boundary expanded
    From 11:59pm tonight additional reasons for permitted travel will be introduced for movement across the Auckland boundary, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says. “As this outbreak has shown Delta is highly transmissible, and in order to be confident of controlling its spread, restrictions at the Alert Level boundary have been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • Tenancy measures introduced to further support COVID-19 impacted businesses and tenants
    The Government has introduced changes to help ease the impacts of COVID-19 restrictions on both commercial and residential tenancies. As part of the COVID-19 Response Legislation Bill introduced to Parliament, measures are being taken to help businesses resolve disputes over commercial rent, as well as provide greater certainty for landlords ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • Details of interest deductibility rules released
    The Government has released the draft legislation outlining the details of the policy limiting the deductibility of interest costs on residential property investments. Finance Minister Grant Robertson said the interest limitation proposals, announced in March, aim to stem investor demand for existing residential properties. They do not affect the main ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • GPS sets long-term direction for housing, urban development
    The Government has today laid out its long-term vision for housing and urban development in Aotearoa New Zealand, ensuring we have the infrastructure and homes needed to nurture thriving communities in the decades to come. The Housing Minister Megan Woods says the Government Policy Statement on Housing and Urban Development (GPS-HUD) ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • Government welcomes collaboration between Vector and X
    A move by Vector to form a strategic collaboration with X, (formerly Google X) to work together on the virtualisation of the Auckland electricity grid highlights the type of innovation that can help decarbonise and decentralise the electricity system, says Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods. “The visualisation of New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • PM farewells Governor General Dame Patsy Reddy
    The Rt Hon Dame Patsy Reddy completes her five year term as Governor-General of New Zealand today. “Today marks the end of an eventful term of office for Dame Patsy and I want to acknowledge and thank her for her tireless service to New Zealand over the last five years,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • Government delivers on improving health and equity outcomes for women
    ACC cover for maternal childbirth injuries Government working to improve and strengthen maternity services The Government is laying the foundations for a better future by improving equity and health outcomes for women through amending ACC legislation and an updated Maternity Action Plan. “Amongst a suite of changes, we’re proposing to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • Speech at launch of the Dementia Economic Impact Report
    E nga mana E nga reo E nga iwi Tēna kotou katoa Ka huri ki nga mana whenua o te rohe nei. Tēna koutou. He mihi hoki ki a tatou kua tau mai nei I raro I te kaupapa o te rā. No reira tēna koutou katoa Acknowledgements Thank you ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Backing world-class innovation in New Zealand
    $12 million Government investment to support cutting-edge R&D in New Zealand by international businesses Dawn Aerospace and Merlin Labs join Innovative Partnership’s Airspace Integration Trials programme MOU signed with Air New Zealand to conduct a nationwide feasibility study into sustainable aviation fuels The Government is propelling cutting-edge innovation through a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • One-way quarantine free travel dates confirmed for RSE scheme
    From 4 October RSE workers from Vanuatu can begin arriving into New Zealand From 12 October RSE workers Samoa and Tonga from can begin arriving into New Zealand As part of a programme of work to reopen our borders and reconnect with the world, the Government has announced quarantine free ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • More community grants to support youth mental wellbeing
    The Government continues to make more mental health and wellbeing supports available to young people to ensure services are there when and where they need them, Health Minister Andrew Little says. “More than twenty community-led projects have now received a funding boost through The Youth Mental Wellbeing Fund to keep ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Self-isolation pilot to start with 150 people
    The goal of safely re-opening our borders and developing new ways for people to travel will start with a self-isolation pilot, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins confirmed today. “As part of the Reconnecting New Zealanders plan announced in August, the self-isolation pilot will look at self-isolation for vaccinated travellers who ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Poroporoaki: Waka Joseph Nathan
    E Waka e, kei hea ra koe, kua ngaro nei i te iwi e, E kawe nei i ngā rongo, i ngā mahara mōu, i ngā wawata i hua mai i a koe. E Waka e, haere ra, kei te tuahu koe o te ati a toa, Kei poho tonu ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Canterbury school students get hands-on with food and fibre careers
    Secondary school students in Canterbury will have the breadth of food and fibre careers showcased to them thanks to a new initiative launched today, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor said. Secondary School Employer Partnerships (SSEP) Canterbury is a collaboration between the Ministry for Primary Industries and SmartNZ, a charitable trust that connects ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Tuvalu language revival and COVID-19
    Te Vaiaso o te Gana Tuvalu 2021 - Tuvalu Language Week moves online due to the uncertainty around COVID-19 said the Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio.  “However it is a timely reminder of the power of embracing both traditional and new ways of doing things. It has been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Strengthened reporting will improve abortion and sterilisation services
    Associate Minister of Health Dr Ayesha Verrall has announced new data and reporting regulations which will help improve abortion and sterilisation services in New Zealand, by painting a clearer picture of the need in our communities. “The Government is committed to ensuring everyone who needs to access abortion services can, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • United Nations General Assembly: 76th General Debate Statement
    E ngā Mana, e ngā Reo, Rau Rangatira mā o tēnei Whare Nui o te Ao Prestigious people, Speakers of note, Chiefs one and all of this General Assembly Ngā mihi mahana ki o koutou katoa, mai i toku Whenua o Aotearoa Warm greetings to you all from my home ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • APEC 2021 Women and the Economy Forum prioritises women’s economic empowerment
    Minister for Women Jan Tinetti today chaired the virtual APEC 2021 Women and the Economy Forum, which is working to address outstanding issues for women and girls across the region as it recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. The forum brought together Ministers and representatives from 21 economies to discuss gender ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government invests in restoring iconic South Canterbury river valleys
    The Government is investing up to $18.4 million over four years to create jobs and help restore braided river valleys, alpine and pastoral lands in the South Island as part of its Jobs for Nature programme Land Information Minister, Damien O’Connor announced. Toitū Te Whenua Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Upper Hauraki to move to Alert Level 2
    Upper Hauraki will move to Alert Level 2 from 11:59pm tomorrow, 25 September, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins confirmed today. After positive cases were detected in the Upper Hauraki area on Sunday, extra Alert Level restrictions were put in place to immediately prevent any wider transmission of the virus.  “We’ve ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Report into Aotearoa New Zealand’s export controls system released
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today welcomed the findings of an independent review into Aotearoa New Zealand’s export controls system, which regulates the export of goods to foreign militaries, police forces or paramilitaries. Produced by David Smol, a former Chief Executive of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New District Court Judge appointed
    Attorney-General David Parker has announced the appointment of Brett Crowley of Wellington as a District Court Judge.  He is currently the Wellington Public Defender and started his career as a staff solicitor working in a range of litigation including criminal defence work. He went to the bar in 1999 specialising ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Mental health stocktake shows strong progress
    The first report of the Government’s Implementation Unit has found strong progress has been made since the Mental Health and Addictions Package was announced in 2019. “The report notes most initiatives funded in the Budget 2019 package are on track to deliver what is expected by 2023/24,” Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Working together to grow the West Coast
    A project that has been crucial in allowing businesses to continue during the tourism downturn is among a number of initiatives to receive a boost from the Government’s Jobs For Nature programme, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. Sustaining South Westland is an extension of an initiative set up last year ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Next steps to improve safety in wake of Whakaari White Island tragedy
    The Government is moving to improve safety in light of the Whakaari White Island tragedy and has released proposals to reinforce safety standards in registered adventure activities. The package of proposals includes: Strengthening requirements for how operators, landowners and the regulator manage natural hazard risks Improving how risks are monitored, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand donates more COVID-19 vaccines to COVAX and the Pacific
    Foreign Affairs Minister Hon Nanaia Mahuta and Associate Health Minister Aupito William Sio announced today that New Zealand is donating additional Pfizer vaccines to the Pacific and AstraZeneca vaccines to the COVAX Facility, to support equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines. “New Zealand is donating 708,000 doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Speech to the Property Council of New Zealand
    Kia ora koutou katoa   Is it a pleasure to be able to speak with you today, and to be able to answer some questions you may have. I would like to acknowledge the organisers of this event, the Property Council. The theme of this year’s conference is City Shapers. Together ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Additional MIQ for Christchurch
    An additional hotel will be added to our network of managed isolation and quarantine facilities, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “I have approved and Cabinet is in the final stages of signing off The Quality Hotel Elms in Christchurch as a new managed isolation facility,” Chris Hipkins said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • NZ COVID-19 response earns another major digital investment
    Minister for the Digital Economy and Communications Dr David Clark welcomes Amazon’s Web Services’ (AWS) decision to establish a Cloud Region on New Zealand shores, further boosting New Zealand’s growing digital sector, and providing a vote of confidence in the direction of New Zealand’s economic recovery. “Amazon is the second ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand invests in cutting edge cancer R&D
    Scaling up the manufacture of CAR T-cell cancer therapy for clinical trials Advancing New Zealand’s biomedical manufacturing capability Supporting future international scientific collaborations Transforming cancer care with targeted, affordable solutions Research, Science and Innovation Minister Hon Dr Megan Woods has announced that the fight against COVID-19 will not stop the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Expert group appointed to lead New Zealand’s future health system
    An outstanding group of people with extensive and wide-ranging governance and health experience have been appointed to lead the Māori Health Authority and Health New Zealand, Health Minister Andrew Little says. “This Government is building a truly national health system to provide consistent, high-quality health services right across the country. This ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Funding to help clean up contaminated sites
    The Government is supporting the clean-up of contaminated sites in Northland, Dunedin and Southland to reduce risk to people’s health and protect the environment. Environment Minister David Parker said the funding announced today, through the Contaminated Sites Remediation Fund, will help us turn previously hazardous sites into safe, usable public ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Predator Free apprenticeships open up new job opportunities
    The expansion of a predator free apprenticeship programme is an opportunity for more people to kick-start a conservation career, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. “The Predator Free Apprenticeship Programme is focused on increasing the number of skilled predator control operators in New Zealand through a two-year training programme. “The Trust ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Further NCEA support confirmed for Auckland students
    The number of Learning Recognition Credits for senior secondary school students will be increased for Auckland students, Education Minister Chris Hipkins confirmed today. This recognises the extended time these students will spend in Alert Levels 3 and 4. “It means students in Auckland will have a fair opportunity to attain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Long-term pathway next step to better mental wellbeing for New Zealanders
    The Government is taking a new approach to support people who experience mental distress, Health Minister Andrew Little says. “Kia Manawanui Aotearoa – Long-term pathway to mental wellbeing (Kia Manawanui) is the first 10-year plan of its kind that targets the cause of mental distress and also sets out how ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Keeping our Police safe to keep our communities safe
    The Government is committed to keeping our frontline police officers safe, so they in turn can keep New Zealanders safe – with one of the largest investments in frontline safety announced by Police Minister Poto Williams at the Police College today.   The $45 million investment includes $15.496 million in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago