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Coromandel Harbour Mining

If any reader is able to make sense from the new reports that have appeared over recent days regarding activities in Coromandel Harbour, please comment on this post. Note that the HH failed to even mention the protest that apparently took place on Wednesday - there was a kurfuffle in the Council Chamber when Tony Brljevich was texted about the protest, after midday - it appears that there was a significant Green Party  and/or Coromandel Watchdog and CLAIM presence.

Here is the report than appeared on 21 December 2012 in the NZ Herald.

Here is the report from the Waikato Times dated 17 May 2013.

Here is the 3 News story that was broadcast on Wednesday with a wonderful photo of Catherine Delahunty.

This issue is extremely devisive, and will become more so as our Council completely fails the leadership test and hides in the shadows, leaving the Ministry of Economic Development who issued the exploration license in 2012 to take the heat. Statements by the 'explorers' indicate that they have been in discussions with, and appear to have the conditional support of the Council.

There are two issues here - firstly the utter hypocrisy surrounding the issuing of licences within Schuule 4 areas that is supposed to be sacrosanct, and which the present Government knows very well will bring opprobrium, and possibly electoral disaster on its head should it break undertakings already given - Nick Smith is an expert at double-talk around this issue - "There is no harm in simply finding out why lies within the Schedule 4 areas" - Yeah, right!

The second issue surrounds our Council's avowed intention to promote the dredging of the harbour to allow the servicing of the fishing fleet and ferrys from the existing (but up-graded) wharf. This will require substantial exporatory work (test bores) to be undertaken to establsh what level of dredging will be required, and incidentally (and Mayor Leach has made no bones about this) allowing for mineral recovery that would assist with the capital works associated with the development.

The problem is that these supposedly complementary objectives are getting hugely confused, and raises the question as to just what is going on right now. Is the sampling and testing aimed at the habour development, or mining, or both? And how does either reasonably prevent contamination from the residual heavy metals allegedly  contained within the tailings that constitute a large percentage of the harbour floor?

The news reports to date provide no real answer, and the protesters are correct to assume the worst, and set about attempting to disrupt what appears on the surface at least to be a deceptive circumvention of the Schedule 4 restrictions. Meanwhile, our Council sits on its hands - the previous plethora of press releases has slowed to a trickle, and you can expect more of this as pro-mining Councillor Goudie exerts ever more influence over Council policy.




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