Outraged Green Taliban with a case of the sad sniffles over 3 hectares

Catherine Delahunty is sobbing into her organic Fairtrade tea over Simon Bridges granting an 18 hectare mining permit, including the staggering area of  3  hectares (approx. just over 3 rugby fields) of schedule 4 land in the Coromandel.

In April 2013 Energy Minister Simon Bridges said, “I do not think there is any ambiguity in our policy. Let me say again that we have a very clear view against mining on schedule 4 land.” Yet he has recently granted an 18 hectare mining permit which includes 3 hectares of Schedule 4 land.

“Simon Bridges is misleading the public in order to advance the National Government’s mining agenda against the public’s wishes,” said Green Party mining spokesperson Catherine Delahunty.

“The Government is eroding protections for Schedule 4 against their word and against the wishes of the public.

Ms Delahunty said the permit was granted to Broken Hills Mining Company which has been operating a 5 hectare “hobby” mine. The company now wants to expand to 23 hectares approximately 5 of which are on Schedule 4 conservation land.

“This no longer qualifies as a “hobby” mine, and clearly is a business. The company sends its ore to Waihi for processing by Newmont,” said Ms Delahunty.

“We don’t have issues with Broken Hills improving safety in their mine, but it is unclear why the company need permission to access an additional 3 hectares of Schedule 4 land to do it.

“The Government shouldn’t allow Broken Hills to expand their mine to more than 4 times its size if it means going into Schedule 4 land.

“In 2010, 40,000 people marched to protect the treasured places protected in Schedule 4. The Government should honour its promise and stop granting mining permits on Schedule 4 land.” – Green Taliban HQ

What Delahunty fails to mention though is the fact that Broken Hills operates a  small scale low impact underground gold mine. 

From an article in 2010:

“There is lots of scope for more of this kind of mining which has no impact and has some very positive benefits.”

Critics might dispute the claims of “no impact”, but from the outside looking in, there is little to indicate that it is a working gold mine on protected conservation land.

Gold miner Roger Hendy said quite a few people have walked past andnever noticed anything was there.

“If people don’t even know you are there, it can’t get any more low impact than that, can it?”

“We are on conservation land which is within Section Four and we operate within the restrictions that Section Four imposes. So it’s quite clear that you can actually carry out a modest, small scale of mining within the limitations that that imposes and without any impacts.”

Hendy said the industry is scarred by people who have done the wrong thing and they are targeted as a result of this.

“To know that we are doing a good job of it is probably something that people should see.”

Rabone describes his relationship with conservation officials as constructive and open.

“It’s really a matter of mutual respect, trust and goodwill on both sides and I guess a preparedness to discuss and a preparedness to compromise.”

As for the mine’s future its special use permit runs for another five years before the miners and Department of Conservation officials again sit down. – source

Underground mine, so one would assume that is another 3 hectares with tunnels nobody will see like the rest of it? So just what IS the outrage about? No mention of any snails or frogs yet.

Go on Simon, give ’em an extra 20 hectares for good measure, the only damage done here is a few boxes of tissues.


Do you want:

  • Ad-free access?
  • Access to our very popular daily crossword?
  • Access to daily sudoku?
  • Access to Incite Politics magazine articles?
  • Access to podcasts?
  • Access to political polls?

Our subscribers’ financial support is the reason why we have been able to offer our latest service; Audio blogs. 

Click Here  to support us and watch the number of services grow.