Open letter to Hon Nanaia Mahuta, on the Moratorium on deep sea mining

To Hon Nanaia Mahuta

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister of Local Government and Associate Minister for Māori Development

Dear Minister,

We are Fridays For Future Te Upoko O Te Ika, with members stretching right around our south-east coast, including Whanganui A Tara.

Because we want a livable future for the oncoming generations, we have been holding weekly vigils since May 2019 to press the Government to take strong action on the Climate Emergency.

We were delighted to see that you have declared a moratium on deep sea mining in the waters of Aotearoa.

We know this will limit the large greenhouse gas emissions that will inevitably be produced by such activities and limit the ecological damage to ocean flora and fauna.

An ongoing ban will also support the ocean’s key role in our survival through absorbing CO2 and emitting oxygen. Undermining (literally) these roles that the oceans have always played will mean no future for us.

The world’s oceans are in dire peril. They are a dumping ground for the world’s toxic waste and plastic. Industrial unregulated overfishing has destroyed fish stocks, acidification from carbon dioxide has destroyed most of our coral reefs, and far too small an area has been set aside to allow fish stocks and ecosystems to regenerate.

So we ask you to do everything in your power to fight for our oceans, and put in place a permanent ban.

On behalf of all of us at Fridays For Future Te Upoko O Te Ika