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Rally for the Mountain expected to bring in the crowds

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

A rally against a proposed goldmine in the Karangahake Gorge is going ahead this Sunday with hundreds expected to turn-out for the event.

Karangahake local Holly Dove says the government has not kept its promise to protect Karangahake from mining, and the community has been left with no alternative but to rally against the mining company.

"We’ve had enough of watching mining trucks coming into our community every day, to prospect for gold in the heart of conservation land," she says.

"We delivered a petition to parliament in August 2017, on behalf of thousands of people, and were promised by both Labour and Green MPs that, once elected, they would protect Karangahake and the conservation estate from mining - it’s a year and a half later and the mining company is still here," she says.

The local community, lead by conservation group Protect Karangahake will be hosting a rally this coming Sunday 17th March at 3pm.

Dove says they expect a large turnout.

"Previous events have seen us get hundreds of people all the way out here to protest on mountain itself - it’s been awe-inspiring to witness hundreds of people, from Auckland, Hamilton and all over the Coromandel Peninsula turn up to show support and we hope our rally this weekend will be the same."

"Our rallies have hit global headlines in the Guardian and made the evening news - this time we’re expecting to make a good impact again and it’s a critical time because right now, the government is making important decisions about conservation land - we need to know that kiwis want it to be protected from industrialisation."

Local conservation group Protect Karangahake spokesperson Duncan Shearer says the government needs to step up and deliver on their promises.

"While we wait New Talisman [the mining company] are actively blasting away in the heart of Karangahake."

"Under a bulk sampling consent, they are allowed to take out 20,000 cubic metres a year - we’re talking really destructive prospecting going on here" he says.

"The government has the power to stop this by extending schedule four of the crown minerals act, and we need them to take action now."

New Talisman Gold Mines was granted permission to start mining activities within the Karangahake Mountain in 2017 by the Department of Conservation, under a National-led government, and the company plans to escalate its activities.

Right now the company has fenced off and prevented public access to parts of the conservation estate and are altering the roading to enable large trucks to access the mine portal, putting at risk the pedestrian access to popular walking tracks.

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