Local Maori challenge Lyttelton consent
Ngai Tahi’s legal representation has demanded Lyttelton Port of Christchurch (LPC) commit to a NZ$1m bond to ensure it improves the environment, if consented to deepen its shipping channel from the current low-tide of 12-12.5 metres to about 17-18 metres.
The tribe made the call during a recent hearing before Environment Canterbury on the grounds that traditional harbour food gathering resources were already being impacted by sediment and could likely be further impacted by increased port dredgings.
However, LPC counsel countered that the port had already shown an environmental commitment by moving the dispersal grounds further afield from the harbour and emphasised that there was actually no legal requirement to provide an environmental “gain”.
Noting that over the past decade the size of global containerships has virtually doubled, LPC is seeking to deepen its channel in order to accommodate larger callers and not be demoted to feeder port status in the New Zealand shipping scene.
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