Coromandel residents are outraged after discovering Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) is an investor in Antipodes Gold, which in partnership with Newmont Waihi Gold, is due to resume exploration drilling in the Parakiwai Valley behind Whangamata.
On ACC’s website it claims its investment policy is based on ethical principles held by the New Zealand public. But spokesperson for Coromandel Watchdog Ruby Powell points out that more than 50,000 people marched up Queen Street in 2010 in opposition to mining in the Coromandel Peninsula.
“Gold mining is a risky investment both for ACC and for us, it is a boom and bust industry that does nothing positive for our national or local economy whilst destroying our environment.”
ACC invested $2 million in Antipodes Gold (previously Glass Earth Gold) in 2010, today those shares are worth merely $50k.
“The Parakiwai Valley, where the mining permit is, boasts beautiful native forest, many favourite summer swimming spots, DOC walks and is the habitat of the rare and endangered Archey’s Frog.”
“Our government – via ACC which is one of it’s largest investment funds – should instead be investing in activities that will support our communities and our economy to grow in sustainable and stable ways. We can’t help but feel betrayed that government is allowing mining activities here, let alone investing in them!” says Ruby Powell.