I roadtripped to Rotorua 2 weekends ago with some friends from the Coromandel to attend the Ka Nui! Enough! Conference. It was a beautiful drive with lots of laughs and talking about the issues we face in the Coromandel and the excitement at going to meet others facing similar issues.
The Ka Nui! Enough! conference focussed on the issues faced by communities on the resource extraction frontlines and the alternatives to mining and fossil fuel industries. The conference was organised by a coalition of groups including dealing with different threats from big corporations. Of course Watchdog was keen to be on board as Newmont Gold, our biggest threat here in the Coromandel, is a platinum sponsor for the mineral industry conference.
We drove into the marae accomodation right on sunset with beautiful shades of orange over the lake to welcome us to Mataikotare Marae, Rotorua. One of the best parts of the weekend was the wonderful hospitality from the Tangata Whenua at Mataikotare where we were blessed to do our work right on the banks of the stunning Lake Rotorua.
Saturday was full of speakers including a skype in from Zimbabwe from an anti-mining activist, Drew Hutton from the Lock The Gate Alliance in Australia, long time Watchdog member and activist Catherine Delahunty gave us hope for the ongoing battles we have with profit -before-people driven corporations and authorities. There was too many high points to put here, every speaker in a different way, with knowledge, with heart, with experience, gave us hope, inspiration and power to stand together.
The conference was also a networking exercise, we met a whole bunch of friendly people from Northland involved with Minewatch Northland who are also facing invasion by Newmont Gold. We will continue to work together to support each other and share knowledge, not just with Northland but with others all over the country who are standing up to extractive industries.
Well I know that the Coromandel has had Enough! Enough of mining companies looking for gold in the hills we call our home without even telling us. Enough of multinational human rights abusers Newmont Gold exploratory drilling in conservation land that is not just special to us, but also precious habitat for native species including the critically endangered Archey’s Frog. We have had Enough of the Waihi community having its voice silenced when they speak out against being undermined.
Let’s celebrate the beautiful place that we live in or come to when we want to relax, and protect it for our kids. Stand up for the Coromandel, join us as we continue to say ENOUGH!
Renee Annan 10/09/2012