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Conservation Decision "A Good Start"

Anglers Federation Labels Conservation Decision "A Good Start"

The New Zealand Federation of Freshwater Anglers, (Inc), a federation of the countries freshwater anglers, reacted enthusiastically today to Conservation Minister Sandra Lee's decision to turn down the application to double the size of the proposed Australian owned GRD Macraes Reefton opencast goldmine in the Victoria Range Forest Park.

Joining recreational organisations such as the Council of Outdoor Recreation Associations (CORANZ) in congratulating the Minister on turning down the application to double the size of this project, President Alan McMillan said "Freshwater anglers have very real concerns that should this project proceed in any form, highly toxic tailings will pollute the nearby recreationally important Inangahua and Buller rivers. These have recently gained wild and scenic river status and goldmines in much lower rainfall areas like the Martha mine at Waihi have shown that such mines posed major tailings dam threats. And as the Minister points out, serious problems with the Golden Cross/Waitekauri dam on conservation land in the Coromandel, caused the mine to close and has cost between $20 million and $30 million to remedy. So even the currently approved mine here poses major risks to their trout fishery and the environment" he said.

Mr McMillan added that in the Ministers own words, she 'is of the clear view that the application contradicts the objectives of the Conservation Act', and 'I do not consider this to be appropriate in a conservation park'. "Anglers from around the country, who value the recreational fishing opportunities that rivers in this area present, would agree wholeheartedly with these statements" he said.

ENDS


Alan McMillan
President
New Zealand Federation of Freshwater Anglers (Inc).

Phone/Fax: (03) 489 8284
Email: club.wingatui@xtra.co.nz
Web site: http://go.to/NZFFA


Ken Sims
Research Officer
New Zealand Federation of Freshwater Anglers (Inc.)


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