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Karangahake community takes fight for mountain to beehive

Karangahake community takes fight for mountain to beehive

A community fighting to save a sacred mountain from gold mining in the Coromandel Peninsula is calling on the government to protect it.

A petition to Parliament carrying thousands of signatures was presented at the beehive this afternoon, calling for all conservation land in the Coromandel Peninsula to be protected from mining.

Members of Coromandel Watchdog of Hauraki and the Karangahake community delivered the petition to Green Party MP Catherine Delahunty and other MPs on the steps of parliament at 1.30pm today, following a presentation which included songs, karakia and ceremony.

Karangahake local and petition presenter Suse Durcan said it was imperative conservation land was honoured in New Zealand.

“Mt Karangahake is conservation land, not an industrial estate,” she said.

“This is why we are here; taking our voice to be heard in Parliament because Karangahake should always have been protected under Schedule 4.

“Karangahake is integral to our local tourism industry and sacred to members of our local iwi and to our extended community - we want to make it very clear to our government where the Karangahake community stands on this issue; we are absolutely opposed to mining on the mountain,” Durcan said.

The petition calls on the government to extend Schedule 4 to include the entire Coromandel Ecological District; a policy mechanism which would change the conservation status of the mountain to one of “treasured and protected from industry” status - making the mountain untouchable.

As it currently stands, Mt Karangahake is managed as standard conservation estate by the Department of Conservation, allowing it to be opened up for industry, such as mining.

Durcan says an extension of Schedule 4 would protect Karangahake and be a huge win for the country in the fight to get all conservation land protected from industrial access.

New Talisman Gold, the company currently prospecting at its Dubbo site in the Karangahake Gorge, declared it had discovered over 8,500kg of gold located between the Coromandel and Kaimai ranges and has stated it intends to begin bulk sampling the gold next year.

“We are challenging the government to protect land that is already supposed to be protected,” said Durcan.

“It’s as simple as that.”

We'd also like to share with you our Facebook page, where we have uploaded photos to this afternoon.


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