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It’s on!

The bluey green stripey area is the application area. Source NZPAM

Wow. What a week. From the Govt signalling that a review of the Crown Minerals Act will get underway soon, to Minister Sage declining Oceanas bid to buy a 178 hectare farm, to Oceana putting in a mining application at Wharekirauponga!

It’s all on!

It is way past time to review the Crown Minersals Act – allowing mining underneath Schedule 4 land is just illogical, and how on earth can we have an Act that promotes a single industry above any other!?

We were surprised to hear of Oceanas bid to buy the 178 hectare farm in Waihi, we had heard nothing of this. But we were pleased to learn of it by way of a Minister declining the application. And on such strong grounds too: the expansion of gold mining at Waihi being unsustainable.

Gold mining anywhere can have significant environmental and economic impacts, some high risk, others low risk but extremely high consequence (like a tailings dam/impoundment failure), and in our area mining in unlikely to provide any significant employment opportunities to the local community.

The other element that is a clear reason for declining any requests for this antiquated industry to continue to plunder our beautiful country is climate. And if we are serious about zero carbon, about recognising that we are in an environmental emergency, we must not continue to enable and promote this destructive industry.

And now? Now we hear that Oceana has applied for a mining permit for the Wharekirauponga area, that precious part of the Coromandel Range that is home to several threatened species, that is a Significant Natural Area, with a high water table, with rivers that are clean and clear and flow down to the ocean beaches of the Southern Coromandel. They have heard us ever since they bought out the Newmonster, they have heard the Government say No New Mines, say that they will extend Schedule 4 to protect that area, and do they care?

No, they want to get in there and undermine us as quick as poss, blast out all the gold, ship it away and move on when its all gone, leaving behind goodness only knows how many tons of toxic slurry in dams/impoundments, carefully capped and PR’d up the wazoo, but a toxic slurry in a precarious position nonetheless.

So, it is on. Time to stand up and again protect the Hauraki Coromandel from these multinational giants with dollar signs in their eyes! Get in touch and do your bit too!