November 28, 2013
Eels over gold in swamp protest
Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira says today's anti-gold mining protest showed the need to look for alternative ways to develop Northland's economy.
Ngati Hau, backed by local farmers and residents, blocked State Highway One at Waiotu north of Whangarei for two hours, diverting traffic along back roads.
They're trying to stop West Australian firm De Grey Mining from digging up the mercury-laden Puhipuhi hills for gold.
Mr Harawira says the hapu, which he belongs to, has identified alternate development options around cleaning up waterways and creating a water storage project around the Hikurangi swamp, which was a major eel fishery before it was drained for farming.
"When we were kids we used to go eeling all the time, so the Ngati Hau community and the local Pakeha community is wanting to allow the plains to reflood and rebuild the tuna farms up there, so once once you start mining you ruin that," he says.
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