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Watchdog Outraged Over MP’s Misinformation

Watchdog Outraged Over MP’s Misinformation

Coromandel Watchdog of Hauraki is outraged that despite repeatedly correcting him, National Party MP Scott Simpson continues to publicly state that there has been no serious attempt to mine the Coromandel since the 1980’s and that there is not a serious threat now. That is not true.

“Mr Simpson is Associate Minister for the Environment and has no idea what gold mining consents are active in his electorate and shows no commitment to protecting DOC land”, spokesperson Augusta Macassey-Pickard says. “He is either woefully ignorant or he is being deliberately misleading, either one, it is not acceptable for a local MP, let alone the associate Minister for the Environment.”

Today, there are tens of thousands of hectares of land under gold exploration permits across the Peninsula, mostly owned by the same company that owns the Martha Mine and Pit at Waihi and is currently drilling for gold in Conservation land behind Whangamata. In 2013 there was a very real proposal from a mining company looking to mine the sediment from the Coromandel Harbour for gold residue which was vehemently opposed by both that community and residents from around the Peninsula.

“Permits for exploration – that involves drilling, and a significant amount of investment – are currently granted for a number of areas above SH25 – one that goes from Whitianga across to Kuaotunu where Mr. Simpson has a bach. He surely cannot be pretending to not know about that!”

Macassey-Pickard questions why a private company - with shareholders - would be spending a significant amount of money getting the permits, let alone all the work they must then do. “Mr. Simpson is effectively saying that these companies pay thousands, maybe millions of dollars, what, just for fun? I doubt that their shareholders would stand for that! His Government should be extending Schedule 4 over the southern Hauraki/ Coromandel not helping gold miners wreck conservation land.”


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