Kayla Hemana lives in Tāmaki Makaurau/Auckland where she works as a freelance graphic and web designer with a passion for ocean protection. She talks about the threat of deep sea mining.

ocean protection in New Zealand

Tēna koutou katoa

I te taha o tōku papa
Nō Haranui ahau
Ko Māhuhu-ki-te-rangi te waka
Ko Kaipara te moana
Ko Haranui te marae
Ko Ngā Tai i Turia ki te Maro Whara i te whare tupuna
Ko Ngāti Whātua Tuturu te hapū
Ko Ngāti Whātua te Iwi
Kei Manurewa ahau e noho ana
Ko Henare Hemana tōku Tupuna Tane
Ko Waireti Ngoi Timoti tōku Tupuna Wahine
Ko Meinata Hemana tōku Koro
Ko Maree Lewis tōku Kuia
Ko Henare Hemana tōku papa
Ko Lisa Warren tōku mama
Ko Matiu Hemana taku Tungane
Ko Narea Hemana-Lum taku Teina
Ko Kayla Hemana ahau

Born in South Auckland, NZ.
Raised in Brisbane, AUS.
Located and operating in Auckland, NZ.

Eldest Daughter of Henare Hemana & Lisa Warren.

Freelance Graphic & Web Designer.
Amateur Photographer.

Kia Kaha, Kia Māia, Kia Manawanui

No reira,
Tēnā koutou
Tēnā koutou
Tēnā tātou katoa

It baffles me to think that some rich fella across the world somewhere is planning to mine the ocean floor. Has humanity not learnt enough about our impact on the world already? It’s frightening when you think about the prospect of corporates mining the deep sea, potentially destroying any chance of its recovery, for profit. 

This is terrifying when you know that the moon is better understood than the deep sea and all its abundant life. The world is about to unleash a beast on one of the most precious, and least understood environments on this planet. 

Hydrothermal vents are where hot magma from the core of the planet comes into contact with the icy ocean. Some scientists say that these vents are part of the origins of life. But the United Nations International Seabed Authority are now preparing to send diggers down to rip the seafloor apart in search of metals and minerals. 

The ecosystems of the deep sea are extremely sensitive to change. Microorganisms live in peace, supporting the ability of the deep sea to store carbon. Keeping us all up here on land safe, healthy, and most importantly – alive. 

There are also these little potato sized rocks called polymetallic nodules. They are like little hubs of life. Supporting species of bacteria, and other microorganisms. But mining will mean scooping those up like poop out of a litter tray. Quite literally stirring the pot. Disturbing stored carbon. Disrupting sensitive lifecycles, and ultimately leaving a huge path of destruction. 

The climate crisis is showing its ugly face all over the world. Have you seen the temperatures in England or India the past few months? 

Deep sea mining could be the last straw, impacting the ocean’s ability to sequester carbon.

Ecosystems in the deep have laid in peace for thousands of years. Until a few greedy people decided it’s going to be their gold rush. 

In 1989, scientists plowed 13,600ft deep seabed off the coast of Peru to simulate the impacts of mining. They revisited the area in 2019. Even after 26 years, most life simply hadn’t returned. Is this the future we want?

The profit makers argue that deep-sea mining will progress the ‘green energy transition’. We can all see this for what it is. An excuse. A way to greenwash their profit based destruction of one of the last untouched parts of this planet. 

Some electric car makers are already pledging not to use these resources. Big name EV & tech companies (like Google, BMW, Volkswagen) have signed this business statement. It’s a commitment to keep these blood-metals out of their supply chains. 

We already have huge supplies of these coveted materials sitting in our homes. Urban mining is the process of collecting the broken phones, laptops, and other tech we have sitting in the bottom of our drawers. Just laying, untouched, unloved, unused. Recycling and reusing this discarded supply  is the solution to this problem. Not digging up the deep sea. 

While rich-lister shareholders in mining companies are set to make untold profits, once again, it’s indigenous people who will be the first to suffer the impact. Island nations are already being overtaken by  rising sea levels. Plastic waste is washing ashore on Pacific coastlines from the “recycled” trash of first-world countries. We are struggling to feed our people due to a huge decline in the kaimoana – seafood – that once nourished us. 

Our people aren’t going to sit by and watch this happen. The Pacific deserves better. We all deserve better. 

If you’re reading this, then it’s time to do your bit. This website was just launched to give us all a way to demand EV makers do the right thing. Go check it out and add your voice. It’s also just really freaking cool.

Then sign this petition calling for the New Zealand Government to support a ban of deep sea mining! 


PETITION: Stop deep sea mining

It’s time for New Zealand to take a stand. Join our call on the New Zealand government to back a global moratorium on seabed mining.

Take Action