Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Reefton Gold Mine Toxic Legacy From Former Govt

Reefton Gold Mine Is Toxic Legacy From Former National Government

Eugenie Sage, regional field officer, Tel. (03) 3666 317

The Department of Conservation's decision to give final approval GRD Macraes' proposed Reefton hard rock gold mine is a toxic legacy of the National Government.

Forest and Bird field officer, Eugenie Sage says, the Department had its hands tied by the former Conservation Minister Denis Marshall's 1993 decision to allow Macraes' to mine in Victoria Conservation Park.

"The Department's decision, however, to permit GRD Macraes to increase the mine area from 107 ha to 170 ha is galling. It shows little consideration of the high wildlife values of the beech and beech/rimu forests of Victoria Conservation Park.

"The mine proposal that has been approved, while smaller than the company's 2000 proposal declined by Conservation Minister, Sandra Lee, is still a very sizeable mine," Ms Sage says.

"It involves a 35 ha pit, a 50 ha waste rock stack (with at least 54 million tonnes of waste rock) and a 22 ha tailings dump. Such a mine will destroy 170 ha of forest.

"It will create water pollution risks for local streams, groundwater and the Inangahua and Buller Rivers from the mine processing plant discharges, acid mine drainage from the waste rock stack, and seepage, subsidence or overflow from the tailings dump."

"Hard rock gold mining is quite different from alluvial gold mining and can create substantially greater water pollution problems. These risks are compounded by the high rainfall (2.2 metres annually) and the fact that there are 12 active earthquake faults within 50 km of the mine," Ms Sage says.

"The mine will create a major hazardous waste site in the hills behind Reefton. It is disappointing that since the mine was first proposed, the Ministry for the Environment has neglected its statutory responsibilities under the Environment Act to advise Government and public authorities on pollution control and the control and management of hazardous substances.

"The Ministry failed to take an active role in the resource consent processes under the Resource Management Act on the particular impacts and problems caused by hard rock gold mining and the risks associated with tailings dumps and acid mine drainage.

"New Zealand's natural environment and future generations will now suffer the consequences of this neglect and the politically expedient decisions of the former Minister of Conservation."

ENDS...

email: sage@chc.forest-bird.org.nz

Barry Weeber
Senior Researcher
Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society
PO Box 631
Wellington
New Zealand
Phone 64-4-385-7374
Fax 64-4-385-7373
www.forest-bird.org.nz

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Supreme Court: Worksafe Decision On Whittall Pike River Prosecution Unlawful

The question in issue on the appeal was whether WorkSafe New Zealand acted to give effect to an unlawful agreement of this nature when it offered no evidence on charges against Peter William Whittall for breaches of the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992...

The Supreme Court... has found that the decision to offer no evidence was made under an unlawful agreement to stifle prosecution. It has granted a declaration to that effect. More>>

 

Cullen To Chair: Tax Working Group Terms Of Reference Announced

Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Revenue Minister Stuart Nash today announced the Terms of Reference for the Tax Working Group and that the Group will be chaired by Sir Michael Cullen. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The New Pike River Agency (And The Air Strike Wing)

Much of the sympathy the public still feels for the families of the Pike River miners has been sustained by the sense that the previous government – let alone the mining company and the processes of receivership and litigation – has never dealt honestly, or fairly, with them. More>>

ALSO:

Not Going Swimmingly: Contractor Cut, New Dates For Christchurch Sports Centre

“As an incoming Minister, I have been conducting a thorough review of progress on the Anchor projects and to learn of a $75 million budget blowout on this project was very disappointing..." More>>

ALSO:

Tertiary: Allowances, Loan Living Costs To Get Boost

“From 1 January, student allowance base rates and the maximum amount students can borrow for living costs will rise by a net $50 a week,” says Education Minister Chris Hipkins... further adjusted from 1 April 2018 in line with any increase in the CPI. More>>

ALSO:

Foreign Affairs: Patrick Gower Interviews Jacinda Ardern

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says discussions have already begun on how to bring climate change refugees into New Zealand under a Pacific seasonal employment plan... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Centre Right’s Love Of ‘Nanny State’

You’d almost think it was 2005 again. That was a time when the rugged individualists of the centre-right were being beset by government regulations on the nature of light-bulbs, the size of shower heads, the junk food available at school tuck shops and other such essentials... More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election