Chatham Rock Phosphate Heads of Agreement

Chatham Rock Phosphate Heads of Agreement:  July 2019

On 16 April, the Ngāti Mutunga o Wharekauri Asset Holding Company (AHC) with the knowledge and agreement of the Iwi Trust, executed a Heads of Agreement (HoA) with Chatham Rock Phosphate Limited (CRP).  The HoA and the associated press release are available on the Iwi website and the press release is also available on the CRP website www.rockphosphate.co.nz/news

These two documents speak for themselves and are recommended reading for anyone interested in the issue.  Regrettably, their content has been badly mis-represented in some quarters as “public support for rock phosphate mining” by the Iwi Trust and the AHC.   In fact, the HoA is an agreement that, in the event that CRP proceed with an application for a marine consent from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), CRP will engage with Ngāti Mutunga o Wharekauri at the earliest stage, provide full information on the application, receive advice on how best to engage with the wider Chathams community and collaborate on “developing a CRP Marine Consent application that meets the environmental, economic, social and cultural objectives of both Parties individually and together”.

Ngāti Mutunga o Wharekauri is not committed to supporting any Marine Consent application that emerges from this process of engagement and negotiation and will certainly not support any proposal that would have any adverse effect on the Chathams environment and fisheries resources in particular.  The HoA places Ngāti Mutunga o Wharekauri in the strongest possible position to influence the outcome of any future Marine Consent process, whether that influence is ultimately directed towards informed consent or opposition to what emerges.  In addition to maximising the capability to oppose an application that, after careful review, was determined to be a threat to Ngāti Mutunga o Wharekauri interests, the HoA also provides a broad framework as to how Ngāti Mutunga o Wharekauri might benefit from a proposal that was not a threat.

Why hasn’t there been some engagement already?  At present CRP are trying to raise the capital required to fund the Marine Consent Application process.  If this capital raising does not succeed in meeting its targets, the application will not progress and the mining licence held by CRP will not be used.  There is no current engagement because there is currently no application to discuss.  If this situation changes, the HoA ensures that Ngāti Mutunga o Wharekauri will be the first to know.

Kia ora koutou katoa,

Tom McClurg, Director AHC

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Ngati Mutunga and Chatham Rock Phosphate sign collaboration agreement 27.02.19 Ngati Mutunga and Chatham Rock Phosphate sign collaboration agreement 27.02.19 (201 KB)