High Court decision about TTRL
01 July 2022
The High Court has released a decision about the composition of a new decision-making committee (DMC) to consider an application by Trans-Tasman Resources Limited (TTRL) to mine iron sands.
In 2016, TTRL applied for consent to extract and process iron sands within the South Taranaki Bight. The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) granted consent, however, legal judgments overturned the decision.
The application was then sent back to the EPA for reconsideration.
On 10 November 2021 the EPA and other parties applied to the High Court for directions about the composition of the new DMC that will consider the application.
In his decision released on 28 June 2022, Justice Isac said:
"No further directions are necessary, given the large degree of agreement between the parties. In order to assist the newly constituted DMC, I record again my understanding of the common position of all parties before the Court:
a) a newly constituted DMC is needed. An odd number of members—three or five—is appropriate
b) the DMC should be provided with the full record before the original DMC, including all material lodged and received by the DMC, all submissions, advice (albeit some of that advice may be wrong in view of the Supreme Court’s decision), memoranda, transcripts and minutes
c) the appellants, and indeed all submitters, must have a full opportunity to respond to any fresh evidence from TTR with their own evidence in reply
d) the parties should have an opportunity to make fresh closing submissions, including on questions of law, and to assist with what may be a complex hybrid factual record consisting of the original record supplemented by new evidence.”
The EPA is working on establishing a new DMC.