WelCom November 2022
Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand welcomes the New Zealand Government’s call in October for a conditional moratorium on deep sea mining in international waters, until strong environmental rules can be agreed and backed up by robust science.
Caritas Director Ms Antonio welcomed the news, which was announced before the International Seabed Authority meets again this month to push through mining rules that could allow deep sea mining from July next year. ‘We hope New Zealand will use its position to promote strong, robust rules and frameworks, supported by science, to protect the Ocean for all humanity,’ Ms Antonio said.
‘We commend Minister Nanaia Mahuta and her officials for listening to the science and to the range of opinion on the topic in the Pacific, while respecting the sovereign rights and mana of countries to manage their own kaitiakitanga responsibilities.
‘However, it’s imperative national governments and international bodies take into account the many local and coastal communities around the Pacific that would be devastated by further damage to our stressed and abused Moana through seabed mining.’
Caritas Oceania has been calling for a total ban on seabed mining in national and international waters throughout the Pacific since 2019.
Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand has also opposed an application to mine ironsands 30 kilometres offshore from South Taranaki, on the grounds it would damage the ocean and have wider potential impacts through sediment plumes and did not respect the territorial rights and responsibilities of the local Ngāti Ruanui iwi.