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Watchdog Wary Over The Government's Mining Capitulation.

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Watchdog Wary Over The Government's Mining Capitulation.

Members of environmental group Coromandel Watchdog are relieved, but still very wary over the government's reported capitulation on mining Coromandel conservation land in Schedule 4, (as reported by all major media outlets tonight) says the society's spokesperson Denis Tegg. "We have the champagne on ice and are ready to pop the corks as soon as the decision is officially confirmed."

"We are relieved that the government has finally seen reason and backed off Energy Minister Gerry Brownlee's stupid and over-hyped plan to open areas of international conservation significance on the Coromandel Peninsula to gold mining," said Mr. Tegg. "The government can attempt to spin this any way it likes, but there is no escaping that their decision represents utter humiliation for Gerry Brownlee, and capitulation by John Key and his government," said Mr. Tegg.

"But our members are also feeling very annoyed that they had rise up in their thousands and convince the government what a ridiculous idea it was to mine Coromandel conservation land for gold, after persuading a National government and 95% of MP's to protect this land from mining just 12 years ago."

"Our supporters and those in other NGO's are also extremely proud of their efforts which rank with the landmark environmental "Save the Manapouri" campaign of the 1970's. Twice now we have squared off with not only the government, but also the powerful mining industry lobby and have won both times. Over 3,500 submissions were initiated through our website, many with heart-felt personal comments. Countless thousands of written submissions were also sent in by our supporters," said Mr. Tegg. "In coalition with Greenpeace, Forest and Bird and other NGO's, we galvanised the largest protest march in decades, and mounted an impressive media campaign which kept the issue front and centre stage for weeks."

"We remain vigilant and wary of the government's mining plans however. We understand the government is proceeding with tax-payer funded aerial exploration surveys and has given the Energy Minister a say on whether mining companies get access to non-schedule 4 conservation land. The government has been 'blind in both ears' in the way it has ignored public opinion on these two issues.

"It's obvious the government wants to intensify exploration and mining on non schedule 4 conservation land on the Coromandel Peninsula, and elsewhere." Also, the Schedule 4 issue is not dead. We expect the mining industry and the government to have another crack at opening up Coromandel Schedule 4 land to mining at some time in the future. But you have to wonder at what part of "no mining Coromandel" they don't understand."

"The good news is that the government's review has re-energised our group. We now have thousands of committed supporters who will staunchly oppose any mining activity on the Coromandel Peninsula, whether it is on Schedule 4 land or other conservation land " said Mr. Tegg.

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