Why we oppose seabed mining

Response to David Bennett's letter (Chronicle; October 6):

It is so disappointing when a councillor uses letters to the editor to gain brownie points over fellow councillors.

It is even more disappointing when the content of their letter is far from the facts. The issue of seabed mining in the South Taranaki Bight is too important to let such fallacies prevail.


Seabed mining - 22km off the Patea coast in a 65sq km area, that's the size of Whanganui to Sanson squared. The processing is 24/7, leaving a sediment plume of 48 million tonnes per year for 35 years.

I've heard comments that our river dumps sediment every time we have heavy rain and that causes no harm. However, ask any fisherman, do they catch fish when the sediment is flowing - the answer is "no". Fish cannot exist in the sediment. They leave.

I've also heard claims there is nothing on the seabed. Perhaps councillor Bennett would like to produce images to confirm this. Trans Tasman Resources (TTR) have not.

TTR recently had their consent to mine quashed by the High Court on the grounds that the company's method of adaptive environmental management was illegal. Adaptive mining is where you mine and if there is an environmental effect, you try and fix it.

Haven't we evolved beyond a "suck-it-and-see" approach.

Councillor Bennett claims there will be many jobs and business opportunities. I dispute this.

The benefits to Whanganui will be less than minimal.

The impact on our ocean environment could be catastrophic.


Councillor Bennett neither believes there is a significant whale population in the Bight nor the motivation to actively stand up for his perceived benefits. Yes, the mayor and deputy mayor attended the celebration. We're informed, motivated and determined to see our district grow, sustainably.

JENNY DUNCAN, Deputy Mayor, Whanganui
VSG to columnist

In line for the Virtue-Signalling Goodness (VSG for short) of the month has got to be the Chronicle columnist who used to comfort the afflicted but now wants to afflict the comfortable.

Why not just stop afflicting the comfortable, there will be an immediate decrease in misery in the world?

He wishes us to believe that the demeanour of someone attending a job interview (remember, Brett Kavanaugh is not on trial) probably makes him guilty and certainly unfit to be a judge.

If he had been stone-cold phlegmatically unruffled, you would have said he has the heart of a psychopath and also therefore unfit for office.

But out in front is the column written about how bringing a baby to the United Nations is so much better than a world run by, apparently, SOM (Selfish Old Men).

Newsflash: because the leader of the Abolitionists of Logic gets to change a diaper at the United Nations ... doesn't exactly contribute to the sum total of human happiness, nor indeed to human productivity.

And you may want to think long enough to appreciate how all the people who have come back to paid employment since Trump assumed the presidency would not necessarily share your polarised view of his stupidity and ineptness.

And don't forget, both disposable diapers and the United Nations are the products of OMT (that would be Old Men Thinking).

So I award you the Virtue-Signaller of the month, but all you succeeded in doing was reminding most of us that, in the words of the famous Mark Twain: "Politicians should be changed as often as diapers, and for the same reason."(Abridged)

RENE DE JONGH, Whanganui
Sensationalism, Jay

Jay Kuten in the Chronicle (September 3) has been tempted into sensationalism by a personal political position to announce guilty unless proven innocent on the Brett Kavanaugh hearing.

Jay is a member of a tribe that is bent on turning everything upside down for some reason.

Our legal tradition is innocent until proven guilty.

We, as his unfortunate readers, need decide which of these two is the better.

There is a play by Arthur Miller called The Crucible, dealing with exactly this problem with those accused of witchcraft in Salem in the United States in 1692.

Jay would have read this play but has not learned from it. Innocent people were hanged on the verbal witness of an unreliable person. Jay also needed to read the outcome of Rachel Mitchell, the Arizona prosecutor who questioned both Ford and Kavanaugh.

F R HALPIN, Gonville