Labour & Greens Commit to Extend Protection in Coromandel
Labour and the Greens Commit to Extend Schedule 4 Protection in the Coromandel
On Tuesday Coromandel Watchdog of Hauraki, supported by Protect Karangahake, presented their petition calling for Schedule 4 to be extended to protect conservation land across the whole Coromandel Ecological Region. After the presentation, both the Labour and Green Parties confirmed that they will extend the Schedule 4 land classification.
Currently conservation land North of SH25 Kopu-Hikuai is protected by Schedule 4, but land in the Southern Coromandel is not, and is under increasing pressure from mining activities.
The petition, carrying 4,500 signatures, was delivered to Green Party MP Catherine Delahunty, by the conservation groups. Labours David Parker was also present in his capacity as Labour Conservation spokesperson and confirmed that Labour support the extension of the Schedule 4 protection as do the Green Party – spokespeople for Conservation and Environment Eugenie Sage and Mojo Mathers also attended.
The presentation included songs and karakia from the Karangahake community who are passionately opposed to mining activities on what they say is their ‘sacred mountain.’, and members of Coromandel Watchdog who have been working for more than 35 years to protect the Coromandel from mining.
Coromandel Watchdog Spokesperson Augusta Macassey-Pickard said the group was very pleased that Labour and the Green Party had agreed to extend Schedule 4. “The Coromandel Ecological Region is a significant area, with many special species of flora and fauna, some of which are threatened and iconic and unique landscapes. Our beautiful environment is hugely important to both the residents of the Coromandel and our economy, and mining here would not be appropriate.”
“We want it protected, from Te Moehau in the North, to Te Aroha in the South,” said Macassey Pickard. “Coromandel Watchdog has long campaigned to have the whole of the area protected, so we are very happy that Labour and the Greens have agreed.”
Susan Durcan of Protect Karangahake 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. “Mt Karangahake is conservation land, not an industrial estate,” she said. “It 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.