On Waitangi Day last week Manaia hapu and the group Nga Kaitiaki o te Awaawa o Manaia protested mining in their catchment in a brave, powerful and inspiring way. Over 50 young people took over the busy intersection in Coromandel Town to send a message of protest and strength – Manaia is too precious to mine.
A flashmob haka was organised by the youth of Manaia and a crowd of over 100 people gathered to watch and support with banners ‘No mining – frack off!’ And who are they talking to? Broken River Mining Ltd, a small company who hold an exploration permit over land behind Manaia which allows them to take samples to establish where any mineral resources would be. The permit is over 115 hectares of forestry land in the Manaia catchment.
“There was no consultation process before the granting of this license. According to the government there is no need to check in with people surrounding the area whether mining is something that is going to be pursued in their area,” said Coromandel Watchdog of Hauraki coordinator Renee Annan. “We have these issues all over the Coromandel with over 80,000 HA of land being under permit.”
“The haka was a very inspiring action by Manaia hapu and we hope that Broken River takes this message and surrenders their permit immediately.”
The permit is for quartz, gold and silver and will expire in 2017.