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Waihi Not a Fantasy – Warning to Whangamata District

Media Release
20-08-2013

Waihi Not a Fantasy – Warning to Whangamata District

Over 60 people attended a Watchdog hosted public meeting in Whangamata on Sunday to hear the warning from Waihi residents that living in a mining town is not as romantic as it’s made out to be – information and undertakings to protect homeowners and communities have often turned out to be rhetorical or ineffectual.

“Rob McCarthy, a resident who bought a property without the knowledge of a mining permit over his land and now faces the impacts of underground mine proposal, ‘Correnso’, told the meeting homes have sold at 27% less than their rateable value within the proposed mine impacted area, and this is after top-ups from the mining company.” said Watchdog Coordinator Renee Annan.

Another resident Collette Spalding has lived through the many broken promises of the company.
“Collette told us of the ongoing struggle to get fair compensation for residents from the mine and how it is always on the mine’s terms,” Ms Annan said.

Ms Annan explained at the meeting that there was 4 mining exploration permits directly affecting the Whangamata area covering over 12000HA. The permits are over conservation land behind Whangamata, over the north end of the Whangamata Harbour to behind Onemana, and from Opoutere to Pauanui.

“Catherine Delahunty reiterated that the experience of Waihi should not be dismissed as a fantasy. The lessons are real, Newmont might say now it will only be a small inderground mine in the hills, but this still has huge impacts and is only the thin end of the wedge once they have their foot in the door.”

“Watchdog will continue to work with the Whangamata community to support opposition to toxic mining expanding out of Waihi and into our precious conservation estate and small coastal communities – they are too precious to mine.”

ENDS

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