Protect Aotea, Great Barrier Island
Help us protect the marine environment of Aotea, Great Barrier Island and the Hauraki Gulf.Auckland
PROTECT AOTEA FROM MARINE DUMPING
Help us fight to protect our precious oceans: we are challenging the EPA in the High Court, and we need your support.
In February 2019, the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency!?) issued a consent to CRL Ltd (a private company) to dump up to 8.75 million cubic metres of polluted dredge waste just 25km off the coast of Aotea (Great Barrier Island) over the next 35 years. That is 250 000 cubic metres per year, a 500% increase on the current consent held by CRL.
This weekend on Aotea (Great Barrier Island) a Tokomatua Kaumatua (gathering of respected Maori elders) placed a raahui (ritual ban) on the dumping activities.
The EPA is about to consider another application for consent from the Ports of Auckland for a further 2 million cubic metres of dredge waste plus 50 000 per year, again to be dumped off the coast of Aotea. There are also harbour projects in the Coromandel that are naming “out the back of Great Barrier” as their preferred site for dumping waste.
The waters off the East coast of Aotea are rich with fish and mammal species, and though not undamaged by human activity, they are relatively untouched, and should be protected and restored, not given up as an out-of-sight dumping ground for inner coastal pollution.
Protect Aotea is a coalition of local iwi and community groups that has come together to fight this assault on the Waahi Tapu waters surrounding Aotea. We are supporting the High Court Appeal lodged by Kelly Klink of Ngaati Rehua Ngaatiwai ki Aotea, and the Judicial Review sought by the Society for the Protection of Aotea Community and Ecology Incorporated (SPACE).
The dates have been set for our High Court Hearing in Wellington - July 22 and 23 - and with the rest of the wolves at our door, this is an amazingly important court case for the residents of Aotea, and also for the whole of New Zealand.
We believe that New Zealanders from all walks of life want to look after our oceans, and want government agencies to behave responsibly when considering options for commercial companies processing waste. Higher costs for more responsible options should not rule them out.
Our cases challenge the disregard that the EPA’s Decision Making Committee had for their obligations under the Treaty of Waitangi, the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigineous Peoples, and the principles of natural justice afforded all of us in the Bill of Rights.
The EPA failed to require CRL to conduct any consultation on Aotea, despite acknowledging our special interest. More importantly for us as a community, they failed to recognise the rights of local Mana Whenua/Mana Moana (those with the responsibility to care for the land and ocean) and the vast cultural knowledge held by local Kaumatua (elders) regarding our local oceans. Despite notifying a great many iwi organisations of the application in process, accepting and hearing submissions from many (opposed) iwi groups, and seeking additional advice from their Maori advisory committee, CRL (and the EPA) failed to engage with Maori as the law requires them to, and failed to give appropriate weight to cultural concerns.
They have also failed to ensure access to justice for the wider Aotea community, and have failed to adequately address identified “uncertainties” in the granting of the consent.
We have an amazing legal team working on our case (many are volunteering), including lawyers with experience in international law, indigineous rights, environmental science and law, as well as lots of other skilled and dedicated volunteers.
Unfortunately there are lots of costs associated with going to court, and to those who contributed to our last give-a-little campaign, thank-you so much! It really got the ball rolling. Now we need a boost!
Costs that we currently have in the wings are:
• preparing our paperwork (our “bundles”) for Court - est. $2000
• Travel costs for those appearing at Court - approx. $900
• Fees for expert environmental witnesses to prepare documents to support our case - est. $5000
• fees for one of our legal team, who really could do with the means to eat - she has been working tirelessly for next to no income from this work, and we would like to pay her for her many hours - let’s aim for $2100 to start with,
…….and that makes our give-a-little goal a nice round $10 000
Our costs will be much greater than this if we have to go to the Supreme Court, which we WILL do if we fail in the High Court, but we will tackle this one obstacle at a time.
If we reach beyond our current $10 000 goal, we will fund public awareness raising initiatives, contribute to the costs of our volunteers (couriers, printing, fuel, etc), and pay our lawyer more towards her time.
WHAT CAN YOU DO TO HELP
Donate!!! If you haven’t already donated, please consider it now. We are in a strong position to win our court case, and we’re feeling positive, but we really need the support of everyone who cares.
Come to our PROTEST RALLY in Auckland CBD on Saturday July 6th! Meet 11.30-12 at Britomart, march to Aotea Square, performance by NZ music legend Tigilau Ness.
Join our mailing list: https://tinyurl.com/subscribe-to-protect-aotea
Use of funds
The community of Aotea, need your help to support the expensive legal costs involved in a High Court appeal.
Other page links
With the page donors and some generous donations from local individuals we have covered our costs. We have also been awarded costs by the High Court. When that comes through, we will have a head start to continue fighting against the practice of marine dumping. Thanks to everyone who donated - we needed all your help to get this far. And we’ve done really well!!
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This page was created on 14 Mar 2019 and closed on 21 Feb 2020.