Today 300 people gathered at Wyuna Bay to celebrate the value of the Coromandel Harbour and support a flotilla of boats, kayaks and surfers sailing across the harbour, which is included in Schedule 4 of the Crown Minerals Act, to defend it from mining.
“The Harbour is too precious to mine and the locals know it, there was so much support for this action and the message was clear – we will not allow mining in our waters,” said Coromandel Watchdog of Hauraki Coordinator Renee Annan
“It is illegal to mine in Schedule 4 land and waters, dredging for gold would be catastrophic for harbour marine life and the aquaculture industry,” said Ms Annan. “Our successful flotilla today shows Sea Group Holdings, the company who hold the permit in this area that they don’t have a chance here. Attendees at the event signed a letter asking the company to revoke their permit.”
“Locals were also highlighting opposition to the Government’s new Crown Minerals Amendment Act which further restricts the rights of citizens to protest on the ocean in New Zealand’s economic zone.
Catherine Delahunty Green MP and Bunny McDiarmid of Greenpeace New Zealand spoke to the rally about the threats in the new Bill and the importance of standing up for the environment despite the Government’s attempt to stop a proud tradition of non-violent protest on land and sea.”
Chairman of Coromandel Watchdog Gordon Jackman quoted marine ecologists who warned that any disturbance of places like McGregor Bay would release sediment contaminated with toxic waste and put the local aquaculture industry at risk.
Watchdog hosted the flotilla alongside Coromandel local group CLAIM (Coromandel Lobby Against Indiscriminate Mining) and it was supported by boats from the Bay of Islands, Auckland and Waiheke as well as local boats.
“There was a real sense of solidarity today, we know we have the power to stand up and protect our waters.”
For further information or interviews contact Renee Annan on 0220181764 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Coromandel Watchdog of Hauraki
protecting the Coromandel Peninsula from mining