Here is the submission button on the Environment Canterbury website. Just a couple of paragraphs will do. You may want to mention that Banks Peninsula is a stronghold for Hector's dolphins. This area has been protected since 1988. The dolphin population is no longer declining at 6% which is what it was doing before the sanctuary was created. But there is still a 60% probability of continued population decline. Having gone halfway to solving the problem of dolphins being killed in fishing nets, this does not seem a good time to be adding a new impact! ... See MoreSee Less
Port Lyttelton (like Port Otago, Tauranga and Auckland) want to deepen and widen their shipping channel to let in larger cargo vessels. In the case of Port Lyttelton (near Christchurch) this would result in dumping 18 million cubic metres of sand and mud into the Banks Peninsula Marine Mammal Sanctuary - set up to protect the Endangered Hector's dolphin.
This would result in damage to benthic communities, both inside the harbour where the sediments would be removed and outside the harbour where the sediment would be dumped. This would cause damage to benthic communities, and therefore fish communities, and therefore populations of Hector's dolphins and seabirds. In addition, the harbour sediments contain anti-fouling chemicals and other toxins which could affect these "protected" species directly.