This week we took a big step challenging to Government Ministers in the High Court over their decision to allow Oceana Gold to buy a piece of land near Waihi to use for another toxic waste dump.
We did it because we did not accept their narrow focus on jobs. They sabotaged the Minister of Lands Information decision against this sale in May 2019 which was based on environmental, climate and long term economic concerns. We have legal grounds under the Overseas Investment Act to challenge them.
We also have a principled position. It is our role to stand up when Government undermines good decision making and facilitates a dinosaur industry that will increase climate emissions.
This proposal by Oceana, if it goes ahead, will also contaminate 178 hectares of productive land forever. Mine waste gold mines is very toxic. It is laden with heavy metals like arsenic, cadmium, zinc, lead and copper. It doesn’t magically disappear into soil or water. Oceana already have a vast and very full waste dump at Baxters Rd outside Waihi. It is a vast earth dam with some rock reinforcement which looks like a huge artificial plateau with grass walls. Inside the dump is a lake of heavy metals.
Oceana want to expand mining in Waihi and behind Whangamata on the conservation land, the habitat of the rarest frog in the world, the Archeys frog. We think that is a terrible use of land that we will need for food production in the challenging days ahead!
The jobs argument is interesting as Oceana lay off workers from their processing mill and drilling teams for the next 15 months when they hope to start digging again. Not sure how peoples mortgages get paid in the meantime bit that is mining for you, not very sustainable.
We will be represented in the High Court by a very experienced lawyer and there will be costs. Check out our Give a Little page and help us pay for this challenge.
We know that people love the Hauraki/ Coromandel and that more toxic waste dumps are not in the national interest so we have to stand up. Help us do the best we can and help us build a future where e waste is mined for minerals not Papatuanuku.