Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

No Choice But To Turn Down Mine Application

15 August 2001
Government Has No Choice But To Turn Down Mine Application

Green Party co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons today said the significant environmental risks associated with the proposal for a new West Coast gold mine meant the Government had no choice but to decline the application.

GRD Macraes have applied to expand to 260 hectares an open cast gold mine, with a 36 hectare tailings dam for toxic waste in the North Westland wildlife corridor of the Victoria Conservation Park near Reefton. A decision from Conservation Minister Sandra Lee is expected shortly.

"In making this decision Sandra Lee has a statutory duty to consider the long-term future of the region and the potential impact of such a mine on the ecology and conservation value of the area.

"Conservation areas are set aside for their ecological value and their natural beauty. Mining is just not compatible with this," she said.

Key wildlife in the area include robins, kakariki, kaka and kereru.

"Given the unstable geography of the proposed site - including 12 active faults within 50 kilometres of the site - and high annual rainfall of 2.2 metres per annum - an approval for this mine would be at complete odds with the Minister's statutory requirements," said Ms Fitzsimons.

"We do not expect the Minister to grant approval for this mine and would be very upset if it were to be given. Approving this mine could quite possibly end in disaster for the West Coast," she said.

Ms Fitzsimons said the experience with the Waitekauri mine in her Coromandel electorate, in which the tailings damn has slipped after being built on unstable land, should act as a strong lesson in this case.

"The Waitekauri mine was built on Conservation land as well and was built on what 'experts' said was stable land. Despite $20 million being spent on trying to stabilise the slipping dam, nobody can be sure that the slipping has stopped.

"Any slippage of a tailings dam on this proposed site would expose the Inanguhua and Buller rivers to risk of serious contamination from a range of heavy metals," she said.

Ms Fitzsimons said approving the mine would contradict the Alliance's pre-election policy to stop mining on the Conservation estate.

"The challenge for this Government is to provide real, long term jobs which protect the ecosystems and the environmental integrity of valuable natural areas, not jobs which are environmentally risky and unsustainable.

"The Minister has no choice at all but to turn down this application."

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Malaysia Exposing Our Dodgy Policies On China

Last week, we all owed a vote of thanks to Malaysian PM Mahathir Mohamad for breaking with protocol during his bilateral meeting in Singapore with New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern. Reportedly, Mahathir used the photo opportunity phase of the meeting – which usually involves just an exchange of smiles and pleasantries before the media is sent out of the room – to launch into matters of genuine substance.

By doing so, Mahathir usefully exposed how New Zealand is trying to make a virtue out of sitting on the fence over the South China Sea dispute. More>>

 

Climate Change: Top Academics Call On Government To Take Action

One hundred and fifty academics and researchers from around Aotearoa, including Dame Anne Salmond, Emeriti Professors and several Fellows of the Royal Society, have signed a strongly-worded open letter to the Government demanding bold and urgent action to tackle climate change. More>>

ALSO:

Teacher Qualifications, Class Sizes: Ten Year Plan For Early Learning

“Moving towards 100 percent qualified teachers in early childhood education centres and improving adult:child ratios are among some of the key proposals for change put forward by the sector and experts in the new draft ten year strategic plan for early learning,” Chris Hipkins said. More>>

ALSO:

Teacher Strikes: Meeting, March And Rally In Wellington

Throughout the Wellington region the NZEI rolling strikes entered their final day Friday. Thousands of teachers met in Wellington, Kapiti, Porirua and the Wairarapa. More>>

ALSO:

14/11: Two Years’ Progress Since The Kaikoura Earthquake

Mayor John Leggett said it was a day for reflection, but also a time to recognise the work by many people to support progress towards recovery made across Marlborough since November 2016. More>>

ALSO:

Pike River: Mine Drift Re-Entry Plan To Proceed

“I’ve decided the Te Kāhui Whakamana Rua Tekau Mā Iwa - Pike River Recovery Agency, recommended course of action to enter the drift, using the existing access tunnel, is by far the safest option,” said Andrew Little. More>>

ALSO:

Appointments: New High Commissioner To Australia Announced

“Dame Annette King needs no introduction given her long running career as a parliamentarian where she has previously held a number senior Cabinet portfolios, including Justice, Police and Health. She also was Parliament’s longest serving female MP with 30 years’ service,” said Mr Peters. More>>

ALSO:

Two Years Since Kaikoura: Silvia Cartwright To Lead Inquiry Into EQC

“The inquiry will be the first of its kind under the Public Inquiries Act 2013 and will have all the powers of a Royal Commission, be independent of Government and make its report directly to the Governor-General. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels