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Government's "deliberate misinterpretation" of seabed mining bill frustrating

Press Release The government has today deliberately misinterpreted a draft bill aimed at banning seabed mining for minerals, failing the tens of thousands who have opposed the destructive industry entering New Zealand waters, Kiwis Against Seabed Mining said today.

KASM and Greenpeace with Ngati Ruanui members and Debbie Ngarewa-Packer outside Parliament todayy

The bill, introduced by Te Pāti Māori's Debbie Ngarewa-Packer in Parliament today, was voted down by all parties except TPM and the Greens. While the bill included a retrospective clause to remove existing seabed mining permits, Environment Minister David Parker used this as an excuse to argue it would ban oil and gas drilling in the South Taranaki Bight.

"The government today wilfully misled the public by deliberate misinterpreting the bill, trying to argue it could cut off gas supplies, which is complete nonsense," said Kiwis Against Seabed Mining Chairperson Cindy Baxter.

"David Parker knew full well that his government could easily have tightened the bill's language in Select Committee and could have gone on to ban this incredibly destructive industry from in the oceans of Aotearoa/New Zealand."

"Protecting the ocean from seabed mining has nothing to do with our energy supply, it's about ensuring our ocean ecosystems are in a healthy state to help protect us from climate change, and to ensure the coming generations of our coastal communities can continue to fish, to surf, to collect kaimoana." * KASM will continue to fight any seabed mining efforts: seabed miner Trans Tasman Resources has until next Friday May 19 to lodge its re-application with the Environmental Protection Authority.

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