MAC: Mines and Communities

New Zealand: Protesters march on Evolution Mining drilling site

Published by MAC on 2016-09-12
Source: Maoritelevision.com, AAP, Statement (2016-09-12)

In a strong show of solidarity, more than 200 members of hapū and iwi from Tai Tokerau marched on Evolution Mining’s drilling site "to tell them loud and clear that their toxic gold mining is not wanted".

External link: Puhipuhi Mining Action Group - http://puhipuhi.co.nz/

Te Tai Tokerau March on Puhipuhi Toxic Mining Site

Press Release - http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/AK1609/S00326/te-tai-tokerau-march-on-puhipuhi-toxic-mining-site.htm

11 September 2016

In a strong show of solidarity with local hapū, Ngāti Hau, nearly 200 members of hapū and iwi from throughout Tai Tokerau marched onto Evolution Mining’s drilling site on the slopes of Puhipuhi mountain north of Whangarei to tell them loud and clear that their toxic gold mining is not wanted.

“The Waitangi Tribunal has confirmed what we’ve always known – Ngāpuhi did not cede sovereignty. We still have our tino rangatiratanga, and on the basis of that authority we’ve issued a ban on all drilling and mining,” said Ngāti Hau Anti Mining Group spokesperson Vaughan Potter. “Puhipuhi mountain, and any minerals that are part of it, are ours to protect. We’ll not stand by and let it be damaged. Get the hell out Evolution Mining.”

Asserting their sovereignty, marchers raised the Ngāti Hau, United Tribes and Māori flags on drilling equipment, along with banners and placards. Marchers ranged from kuia and kaumatua to babies, and local farmers also turned out in support.

Chairman of Tautoko FM, musician and long-time environmental campaigner, Hori Chapman, of Kōhatutaka hapū of Te Rarawa, said mining was the opposite of what’s needed for a prosperous Te Tai Tokerau. “Our focus is on healing the land, not poisoning it and our waterways with toxic mining waste. Heal the land and we’ll heal the people.”

Serious concerns about damage to waterways and fisheries’ breeding grounds were raised at the morning’s pōwhiri and discussion from around Te Tai Tokerau, including the downstream effects on tuna farming in the nearby Wairua River.

“Evolution Mining has been telling their Australian investors they have the support of the local hapū and community. But look at this crowd from the whole of the region – it sets that record straight,” said MineWatch Northland spokesperson, Tim Howard. “Evolution Mining has no social licence to be here. They are not wanted here in any shape or form.”

Today’s action is the latest in a series of actions organised by the Action Coordination Group in recent months, and have included social media, hīkoi, pickets, and a roadblock on Puhipuhi Road.


Protest at Evolution's NZ drill site

Protesters continue to tell and Australian company they don't want gold mining in their region.


AAP - https://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2016/09/11/protest-evolutions-nz-drill-site

11 September 2016

Protesters surrounded an Australian company's gold exploration drilling site in Northland, New Zealand.

About 200 people knocked down the barriers and went onto Evolution Mining's drilling site on the slopes of Puhipuhi mountain north of Whangarei on Sunday.

"Evolution Mining has been telling their Australian investors they have the support of the local hapu and community. But look at this crowd from the whole of the region - it sets that record straight," says MineWatch Northland spokesman Tim Howard.

"Evolution Mining has no social licence to be here. They are not wanted here in any shape or form."

Marchers raised the Ngati Hau, United Tribes and Maori flags on drilling equipment, along with banners and placards.

Environmental campaigner Hori Chapman said mining was the opposite of what was needed for a prosperity in the region.

"Our focus is on healing the land, not poisoning it and our waterways with toxic mining waste. Heal the land and we'll heal the people."

There was also a protest at the drilling site in June.

Evolution acquired the Puhipuhi exploration permit in June 2015.

The company is in the early stages of an exploration program to find out whether there are gold and silver deposits at Puhipuhi that can be mined by underground methods.

"We are committed to engaging with tangata whenua, the community and key stakeholders throughout all stages of the exploration process," the company says on its website.

The company says it's uncertain if any deposits exist and establishing a mine at Puhipuhi is years away and may not occur at all.


Anti-mining groups gather in support of Ngāti Hau

Dean Nathan

http://www.maoritelevision.com/news/regional/anti-mining-groups-gather-support-ngati-hau

11 September, 2016

Security for the Evolution Mining Company mining at Puhipuhi was breached today as anti-mining groups, hapū and the public from across the region gathered in support of local hapū Ngāti Hau's anti-mining stance.

A march took place at Puhipuhi this afternoon with protestors determined to make it to the Evolution Mining company drill site.

Hami Tohu, Te Orewai / Ngapuhi says, “All the placards will tell you that Northlanders don't agree with the drilling here. They [the mining company] are searching for minerals and there's no benefit here for the community.”

Jef Murupaenga - Ikin, Kanataa / Norway says, “We need to stand as one, steadfast to fight companies looking to drill because it's wrong.”

Te Uri o Hau is concerned that ten years of effort and resources on the Integrated Kaipara Harbour Management Group could be for nothing.

Deborah Harding, Te Uri o Hau says, "Is our investment going to be hindered by the impact of the mining action that would occur up here?  By the sounds of it this morning, most definitely it will.”

Ben Smith, Farmer / Scientist says, “The plan to take action is gonna come in as well as we've gotta gain that employment and that science back into the community, so that we can employ these young people in an industry that's sustainable.”

One idea at today's talks suggests to continue this regular action would possibly put off investors keen to finance mining projects here.

Murupaenga-Ikin says, “She is our mother symbol. The land and water is priority. Water is the life source.”

“It doesn't just affect Māori but all our families and friends of all ethnicities. If the water is poisoned and we have no water, then we all die,” says Tohu.

Time will tell whether today's action will have other consequences.

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