A landmark case kicks off in the Hamilton High Court tomorrow, with a tiny not-for-profit taking on a multinational mining giant to stop more precious conservation land being torn up
Ours Not Mines, an anti-gold mine environmental group, is in the Hamilton High Court, attempting to block the permit provided by Hauraki District Council to OceanaGold for a new goldmine in Wharekirauponga, near Whangamata.
Co-director Morgan Donoghue says they have a strong case but they’re saddened they have to even take this step.
“We’re a very small organisation with limited funds. We’re taking on one of the bigger mining companies in the world, one with a terrible track record of destruction all around the world.
“The last Labour-led government promised no new mines on conservation land and then did nothing to follow through on that. So we’re doing it ourselves.
“It shouldn’t be up to small, self-funded groups to try and preserve the beauty of Aotearoa. But it’s something that must be done.
“After bleeding Martha’s pit dry, OceanaGold is pinning their hopes on a DOC-administered native rainforest, which is richly biodiverse. It’s one of the few remaining habitats for Archey’s frog, pepeketua, which is critically endangered and found in no other country on Earth.
“Why would we want a huge mine under a very special part of the Hauraki / Coromandel, with potential for contamination of watercourses, local extinction of a taonga species, and transforming a rainforest into an industrial zone?
The only people who will benefit from this mine are OceanaGold and its offshore shareholders.”
The two-day hearing will take place at the Hamilton High Court, starting at 9.30am, on Monday 13 November.