Opposers of seabed mining in the South Taranaki Bight have won their fight twice, speaker Rochelle Bullock told a crowd yesterday celebrating the High Court decision of August 28.

The first victory was consent for the mining being declined in 2013. It was granted in 2017, then High Court Justice Peter Churchman sent the application back to the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) to be reconsidered - a second victory for the opposition.

The mining company, Trans-Tasman Resources, has appealed the High Court decision to the Appeal Court and opposition groups have until October 5 to decide whether to cross-appeal.

About 200 people celebrated the High Court decision at Castlecliff Beach yesterday. They included pupils from Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Tupoho.

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The occasion began with waiata and haka.

Celebration attendees fanned out across the car park at Whanganui's Castlecliff Beach. Photo / Stuart Munro
Celebration attendees fanned out across the car park at Whanganui's Castlecliff Beach. Photo / Stuart Munro

Alex McLeod was master of ceremonies, and coastal guru Potonga Neilson provided the karakia. The speakers were local people who oppose the proposed mining of iron-sand: Anne-Marie Broughton, Athol Steward, the 10-year-old Taylor-Moore twins, Nicola Patrick and Rochelle Bullock.

Patrick said Green Party MP Marama Davidson was still pushing for a moratorium on seabed mining, and for a whale sanctuary in the South Taranaki Bight. Bullock said the EPA "didn't let us speak here in Ngā Rauru" - one of the sore points of the hearing process.

"They took it all the way up to Taranaki."

Patrick thanked the opposers for their efforts, and said they would be back to celebrate another win.

"Keep standing up for Tangaroa."

People brought placards to a Whanganui celebration of the High Court decision on seabed mining. Photo / Stuart Munro
People brought placards to a Whanganui celebration of the High Court decision on seabed mining. Photo / Stuart Munro