South Taranaki's Ngā Rauru iwi is feeling excluded from full input into proposed seabed mining offshore from Patea.

Trans-Tasman Resources (TTR) is in Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) hearings over its application to mine 50 million tonnes of iron-sand a year over 65 square kilometres of seabed offshore from Patea.

Ngā Rauru is due to have its say in the hearings in New Plymouth on Monday.

Turama Hawira will speak in te reo Maori, supported by five others. But Ngā Rauru Kītahi tumu whakarae Te Pahunga Marty Davis says it deserved much more.


On Monday the Ngā Rauru submission follows that of Ngāti Ruanui, the iwi that would have mining offshore in the sea area over which it has mana.

The sediment plume from mining is expected to move south with sea currents. That would bring it into Ngā Rauru's mana moana area.

Ngā Rauru people count Tangaroa (the sea ) as a part of them.

"Turama will share with the EPA some of our special korero, including 'Ko au ko Tangaroa, ko Tangaroa ko au' - I am the sea, and the sea is me.

"The risk of catastrophic damage through this underwater version of open cast mining is totally foreign to our concept of kaitiakitanga," Mr Davis said.

The tribe has a long list of gripes about the hearing process. It wanted the hearings to be close to where mining is proposed. Instead they are being held only in Wellington and New Plymouth.

Ngā Rauru will have to pay $1500 for a bus to get its people to New Plymouth on Monday.

The hearings are happening before Ngā Rauru has resolved its claim for customary rights under the Takutai Moana Act.


The tribe has not be consulted about consent conditions.

Members were also excluded from two years of consultation between the Conservation Department and TTR - they were not told it was happening until it was over.

The process was certainly not one of "free, prior and informed consent," Mr Davis said, so
granting the consent could be a breach of the Treaty of Waitangi.

The EPA's Maori advisory committee has said the cultural values assessment presented by TTR doesn't meet required standards.