The Government’s decision to allow mining — even open-pit mining
– in pristine areas of Coromandel conservation land and our National Parks is contemptible, says Coromandel Watchdog spokesperson Denis Tegg.
“The backlash from mainstream New Zealand will be fierce and relentless. A previous National Government put the current Schedule
4 protection in place, after a concerted 30-year campaign by Coromandel Watchdog, visitors and locals. Many are National Party supporters.
“No one will be taken in by suggestions that this is just a small area of land. The Government has kicked open the door to mining the core conservation estate with this announcement. But it’s a Trojan horse for Government plans to open up another 500,000 ha of prime conservation land to mining, including all currently protected land on the Coromandel.” said Mr Tegg.
“The $4 million Government handout to mining companies for aerial surveys is equally detestable”, said Mr. Tegg. “It’s social welfare for multinationals. Mining companies are creaming off huge profits.
They already receive large income tax concessions not available to ordinary Kiwis. They pay pitifully low royalties. We privatise our minerals by just giving them away to overseas corporations.”
Nor will anyone be fooled by the Government’s laughable “spin”
that modern mining can be done “surgically”. The Government’s refusal to rule out open pit mining speaks volumes. Both open pit and underground mining have severe impacts with roads, rock crushing, cyanide treatment and millions of tonnes of toxic waste dumped in fragile high rainfall areas.” Mining will industrialise our parks.”
“The Thames schedule 4 conservation land has immense value if left untouched. Its native forest cover protects the town from severe floods and an even more lethal and destructive hazard called a debris flow. A debris flow can kill people and destroy property. The land has outstanding landscapes, high recreational use, and is home to kiwi and other endangered species.”
“The Otahu and Parakiwai Waiomu and Broken Hill ecological reserves all contain many endangered species, have mature kauri and kahikatea forest, and outstanding geological, natural and recreational values.”
Almost all this Coromandel land the Government wants to open to mining has been actively prospected by Waihi miner Newmont Gold. What back room deals has the Government done with this multi-national company?” Mr Tegg asks.