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Locals protest mineral prospecting in McGregor Bay

26 November 2013

Locals protest mineral prospecting in Schedule 4 protected area McGregor Bay

The Green Party is calling on the Government to send a clear message to Sea Group Holdings Limited that it will not be allowed to carry out its plans to dredge mine tailings in in the Schedule 4 protected area of McGregor Bay.

Coromandel residents and their supporters are today trying to stop Sea Group Holdings Limited from carrying out mineral prospecting activities in McGregor Bay.

“Sea Group Holdings Limited has made it clear that it intends, after prospecting, to dredge the inner waters of the Coromandel currently protected under Schedule 4, and the Government needs to tell them it will not be allowed,” said Green Party mining spokesperson Catherine Delahunty.

“Energy Minister Simon Bridges has made it clear that Sea Group Holdings would be required to obtain a mineral mining permit in order to dredge mining tailings in the sediment of McGregor Bay, and now the Minister must assure New Zealanders that he won’t ever grant such a permit.

“This company clearly thinks this Government will allow them to dredge for minerals in Schedule 4, which is off limits to mining, but the Government could save concerned locals and environmentalists a lot of heartache by categorically out the granting of a mineral mining permit in McGregor Bay.

“We are worried because the National Government appears to be prepared to re-write history and break their promises about protected land and mining. Why else would they let companies prospect for minerals on land off-limits to mining?

“This peaceful action today is to highlight to the National Government and Sea Group Holdings Limited that New Zealanders love and want to protect our national parks and wild places; we don’t want to see them dug up,” said Ms Delahunty.


Reference:
• Question: Catherine Delahunty to the Minister of Energy and Resources (31 Oct 2013): Does dredging mine tailings from sediment require a Crown Minerals Act permit as well as a RMA consent?

Hon Simon Bridges (Minister of Energy and Resources ) replied: A permit under the Crown Minerals Act, as well as a RMA consent, would be required to dredge mine tailings from sediment if the tailings are to be dredged for the purpose of mining as defined in the Crown Minerals Act 1991, http://www.parliament.nz/en-nz/pb/business/qwa/QWA_14255_2013/14255-2013-catherine-delahunty-to-the-minister-of-energy

• Question: Catherine Delahunty to the Minister of Energy and Resources (15 Nov 2013): Are minerals in a sediment from mine tailing considered to be a mineral existing in its natural state in land as defined in the Crown Minerals Act 1991?

Hon Simon Bridges (Minister of Energy and Resources) replied: Yes (answer not published yet)

• Sea Group Holdings Limited’s company director’s stated intention to mine in the inner waters of the Coromandel, part of Schedule 4: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10855438

• Inner waters of the Coromandel are in Schedule 4: see clause 12 here, http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1991/0070/latest/DLM247378.html?search=ts_act%40bill%40regulation%40deemedreg_Crown+Minerals+Act_resel_25_a&p=1

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