Protests today by several hundred Great Barrier Island residents and Ngati Rehua show the depth of opposition around marine dumping near Great Barrier Island, MP for Auckland Central Nikki Kaye says. 

“I am aware of the 50,000 cubic meters of sediment that has occurred in the past. However, the latest consent approved by the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) of marine sludge is large scale and for a very long term into the future.

“A judicial review hearing challenging the Environmental Protection Authority’s decision to grant coastal resources limited a consent to dump 250,000 cubic meters of marine sludge per annum for 35 years 25 kilometres east of Great Barrier, will take place later in July. An appeal by local Iwi will also take place.

“Ngati Rehua claim there has been a failure by the EPA to properly consult iwi and local residents. They also claim a lack of alternatives considered to the proposed dumping and a significant impact on the natural environment. I understand the EPA dispute this and it is part of the judicial proceedings.

“As the local MP I recently held several public meetings on issues of marine protection on Great Barrier Island and Waiheke Island. These issues were raised and islanders expressed their major concerns about this activity and why there was a need to have large scale dumping in the waters near Great Barrier. Iwi also raised issues of wai tapu and the seabed.

“The alternatives to this marine dredging dumping could include landfill, cleanfill and as I understand it cement mix. The issue of marina dredging’s will need to be properly considered in the future. I think there are some wider issues for local body politicians to consider around this.

“I realise these issues are before a court. However, I am concerned to ensure that local iwi and Great Barrier Island residents voices are heard and properly considered. These waters are the backyard for barrier residents and they feel very strongly about these issues.”

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