16 January 2015
The Decision Making Committee of the Environmental Protection Authority today said it would take another six working days to reach a decision on Chatham Rock Phosphate’s marine consent application. A decision is now due on or by 10 February.
The DMC announcement (repeated below) said the delay for the decision, previously expected on or before 30 January, was due to the unavailability of DMC members during December and January.
CRP Managing Director Chris Castle said while he, along with all shareholders, wants a decision as quickly as possible, he is pleased the committee is taking its time to reach what he believes will be a positive result.
“It’s a bit like exam results. We’ve know we have done the course work comprehensively, we’ve sat the exam and we know we answered everything well – now we are waiting for the results.
“We remain very confident 2015 will be an exciting year of progress for this project,” Mr Castle said.
Chatham Rock Phosphate Limited - Marine Consent Application
M22 - Minute of the Decision-making Committee – 16 January 2015
Extension of Time Limits and Decision on the Application
1. The DMC, pursuant to section 159 (1) (a) of the Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf (Environmental Effects) Act 2012 (the EEZ Act), has extended the time period in which to make a decision on the CRP marine consent application until 10 February 2015.
2. Where a hearing is held, section 68 of the EEZ Act requires that the DMC must make its decision on an application as soon a reasonably practicable and no later than 20 working days after the conclusion of the hearing. The hearing concluded on 12 December 2014. 30 January 2015 is 20 working days after the conclusion of the hearing (the EEZ Act excludes the period between 20 December and 10 January as non-working days).
3. The DMC’s consideration of this application was originally scheduled to be completed by 27 November 2014. Adjustments to the pre-hearing timetable and the deferment of the Chatham Islands hearing dates necessitated an extension of that timeframe. The timetable has also been disrupted by the unavailability of DMC members in December and January owing to prior commitments.
4. In extending the time period in which to make a decision, we have taken into account the requirements to deal with the application as promptly as is reasonable in the circumstances and to establish a procedure that is appropriate and fair, under section 40 of the EEZ Act. In addition, we have considered the matters required under sections 159 and 160 of the EEZ Act.
5. We consider that no party would be adversely affected by the extension, and that the extension serves the interests of the community in ensuring that the DMC is able to achieve an adequate assessment of the application.
For the DMC: