Greens and Waihi

The Herald reports:

The Green Party is being accused of politicking and hijacking compensation negotiations between Newmont Gold and the local community.

But local MP Catherine Delahunty says there is widespread disapproval of the multinational company prospecting throughout the Coromandel Peninsula and people see Waihi as “an object-lesson”.

There may be disapproval from some people in the wider Coromandel, but how much from Waihi locals? I seem to recall a story a while back about how many people there are dependent on for their jobs, and in fact would like more jobs.

Placard-waving protesters who had arrived from Tauranga to Colville marched on Newmont Waihi Gold’s office yesterday to raise concerns about the company’s expansion plans for its operations on the peninsula.

So these protesters came from cities such as Tauranga, to speak on behalf of the people of Waihi?

Ms Delahunty said there were concerns that Newmont had permits to explore for gold in over 40,000ha of land in the Coromandel – including in areas of Schedule 4 conservation land.

You can’t apply for a mine, unless you have done some initial exploration. The impact from exploration is quite minor, as I understand it.

Ms Delahunty said mining was an unsustainable “finite industry” and would affect the peninsula’s $360 million-a-year tourism industry.

Nonsense. Sure there are some places you would not stick a gold mine, but I doubt a single tourist would choose not to come to the Coromandel because of some mining. Hell, on the West Coast the mines are actual tourist attractions.

And yes it is a finite industry, but probably will be around for the next 100+ years and during that time it will feed a lot of families who need jobs. Mining jobs tend to be higher paid jobs too.

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