A conservation group opposed to seabed mining off the South Taranaki coastline is set to argue its case again in the Court of Appeal.

Taranaki-Whanganui Conservation Board (TWCB) was one of several groups that successfully appealed to the High Court in August last year to quash a marine consent for Trans Tasman Resources Ltd (TTR) to mine the seabed.

The consent had previously been granted to TTR by the Environmental Protection Authority. It was TTR’s second attempt at gaining consent, after it made an in November 2013 that declined by the EPA in June 2014.

A Court of Appeal hearing has now been scheduled to be held in late September after TTR sought leave to appeal and overturn the High Court decision, and reinstate the mining consent.

The Conservation Board decided to defend the High Court decision, and also sought leave to cross-appeal the decision confirmed on other grounds.

The Court of Appeal has granted leave to appeal, and to cross-appeal, to all parties, including TTR, Taranaki-Whanganui Conservation Board and other cross-appellants  – a hearing that is set for September 24-26.

In and emailed statement, TWCB chairwoman Vicky Dombroski​ said the cross-appeal focused on questions of law relating to whether the EPA understood and applied the purpose of the Exclusive Economic Zone Act, which includes protecting the environment from pollution, as well as whether the EPA met its statutory requirements to base its decision on the best available information, and apply the precautionary principle.

Dombroski said the board also sought to clarify how the EPA should have taken into account the Resource Management Act, in particular the strong directives of the New Zealand Coastal Policy Statement.

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