Iwi and environmental groups take fight against iron sand mining to High Court

The fight to stop iron sand mining off the South Taranaki coast has gone all the way to the High Court in Wellington.

Seven groups, including iwi, Talleys and other fishing groups, Forest and Bird and Greenpeace are appealing the decision by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to allow Trans Tasman Resources (TTR) to drill for iron sand off the South Taranaki Bight.

In August last year the EPA announced it would allow TTR to drill for iron sand, which the company argued would secure about 1600 jobs in the region.

A decision-making committee granted the consent, subject to conditions, for the company to mine.

But local iwi and various environmental groups were opposed to the plans from the outset. It was the second time Trans-Tasman Resources has made an application to mine South Taranaki, after a failed attempt a couple of years ago.

Court this morning opened with a karakia and waiata by iwi representatives. The public gallery was full in the High Court.

The Environmental Protection Agency argued it was simply an agency supporting a decision maker and that the committee that granted the consent was completely independent.

One of the lawyers for the seven appellants this morning argued that this was a world first in terms of deep iron sand drilling and that there is a lack of information on what the environmental aspects will be.

The case is set down for the rest of the week.

The case is being heard in Wellington. Source: 1 NEWS

Most watched: Hundreds of metres of Greek coastline blanketed by spider webs

This story was first published on Saturday September 23. 

A recent increase in the mosquito population has resulted in perfect conditions for spiders to thrive and multiply. Source: Associated Press

It's not quite the World Wide Web - but the spiders of Aitoliko in Greece have made a good start.

Spurred into overdrive by an explosion in the populations of insects they eat, thousands of little spiders in the western Greek town have shrouded coastal trees, bushes and low vegetation in thick webs.

The sticky white lines extend for a few hundred meters along the shoreline of Aitoliko, built on an artificial island in a salt lagoon near Missolonghi, 250 kilometres west of Athens.

Experts told local media that the numbers of lake flies, a non-biting midge, have rocketed amid humid late summer conditions. Spiders, which fancy the flies, reproduced fast to take full advantage of the feast.

Residents say the extensive spider webs have another benefit: keeping down mosquitoes.


Man in serious condition following assault near Christchurch mall

A 41-year-old man is in a serious but stable condition in a Christchurch hospital, following an attack in the early hours this morning.

Police have cordoned off an area beside the Hornby Mall, on Shands Road, for a scene examination.

It is expected to be cleared by midday today.

Police are continuing to investigate the scene to establish what occurred.

File image of an Ambulance outside a hospital. Source: 1 NEWS


Police in stand-off with man barricaded in Huntly house

Police are currently involved in an ongoing stand-off in Huntly, which started around 2am this morning.

The eight-hour stand off began when police were called to a home on Harris St, where a man and woman had been fighting.

Upon arriving at the scene, police found the man had locked himself inside and was refusing to come out. 

At 9am, he was still refusing to come out of the home and police negotiators are currently on site, Waikato police Senior Sergeant Charles Burgess told Stuff.

"He's barricaded himself in the house and is threatening to harm himself," Senior Sergeant Burgess said.

He's not known to have access to any guns, Burgess said but does have access to knives and other items inside the home. 

"A police negotiation team are trying to speak to the man so we can bring an end to this event."

A section of the road has been cordoned off and detours are in place.

No one else is inside the home and no one has been injured.

Police emergency scene
Police emergency scene Source: 1 NEWS

Truck rolls on Pahiatua Aokautere Road, causing road closure in Tararua

A truck has rolled in Tararua and is blocking lanes in both directions.

The truck rolled on Pahiatua Aokautere Road, also known as the Pahiatua Track, about 7.40am this morning.

The driver sustained moderate injuries. 

No other vehicles were involved.

Police are advising motorists to use an alternative route.

A road closure sign in front of a Police vehicle
A road closure sign in front of a Police vehicle. Source: 1 NEWS