Court of appeal bans mining company from trawling Taranaki seafloor

The court of appeal has dismissed a High Court decision to mine off the coast of Taranaki.

The victory comes after a long battle from environmentalists who say it would have been catastrophic for marine life. 

"The court of appeal has essentially ruled that protecting the environment is a bottom line," said Cindy Baxter from Kiwis Against Seabed Mining.

Trans Tasman Resources (TTR) have lost their appeal against a High Court decision which stopped them mining iron sands from the Taranaki seafloor. 

"I think this sends a powerful message that New Zealand waters are not open for business by sea bed miners," said Baxter.

"You know we don't think that any future investor would have the appetite for throwing money at a lost cause."

In 2017 TTR was granted permission to dig fifty million tonnes of the South Taranaki seabed over the next 35 years. It would have allowed them to mince 500 tonnes of iron ore per year.

The company says it would have created 300 jobs and added $160 million to the economy but Greenpeace and local iwi have been in a seven-year battle to prevent the operation.

In a statement on Friday, TTR said the environmental effect of the operation would have been temporary and marine mammals, fish and sea birds would not have been affected. 

But many disagree. 

"This is where we've possibly got our own population of pygmy whales, this is where the little penguin swims and feeds, this is where the Maui dolphin hang out so it's a huge thing for the protection of the ocean," said Baxter.

It's a victory for the environment, for people power and more importantly, for oceans.