November 17, 2023
Invisible road to sneak gold mine
Forest & Bird chief executive Nicola Toki says there seems to have been sleight of hand in the grant of a lease to a gold mining company near Waihi.
Anti-mining group Ours Not Mines was in the High Court in Kirikiriroa this week challenging the 40-year lease granted by Hauraki District Council to Canadian miner OceanaGold to a paper road through the Wharekirauponga forest.
The company wants to build infrastructure for an underground mine, and says the road will have minimal impact on surrounding conservation land.
Ms Toki says while there may be a road on a map, in reality it’s untouched ngahere.
“They’ve managed to get rights via the council to put big vent structures n this paper road which doesn’t exist in real life so to me that’s really disappointing because as New Zealanders we like to be up front and honest, we like a fair go, and this is kind of sneaky jiggery pokery in the extreme,” she says.
Nicola Toki says Wharekirauponga is also the home to the rare and endangered Archey’s frog.