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Proposed DP Mining Provisions in Environment Court 

The pro and anti-mining forces are gathering as their appeals against the proposed provisions in the District Plan finally go to the Environment Court, and possibly further.

There is no doubt that our Council endeavoured to run a jagged line in order to try to satisfy what is generally regarded as fairly evenly divided sentiment for and against the industry, and allow for the provision of designated:  

"Areas of national importance, and that all activities will treated on an equal basis - according to the potential for adverse effects on the environment."

On the one side, the Ministry of Business, Industry & Environment, along with Oceanic Gold, consider this too restrictive, and want:

"Fair and reasonable treatment in the regulation of minerals, as we would for petroleum and other energy related activities."

Talk about 'red rag to a bull' - this undoubtedly would create the need for the application of substantial additional resources, and potential legal jeopardy every step of the way for the Council.

The opposing forces, including the Coromandel Watchdog, Forest & Bird, and NZ Blackjack Farms are adamantly opposed to both the appellants, and what they consider to be far too lax provisions - nothing but a total ban on the Peninsula will satisfy what they consider is required to:  

"Promote the sustainable management of the natural and physical resources in the Coromandel District, which is consistent with parts of the Resource Management Act."

Horror stories about tailings dams are just part of the narrative, but there is an intensity of passions involved in the opposition about which our Council is extremely wary, and it will only get worse as time goes on. Those involved are determined, and well organised. 

Expect to see and hear much more about this. I recognise that there is probably equal feelings each way amongst readers of this blog, and I have no intention of expressing a view one way or the other. Everyone can recite their particular arguments, and so there is little  point in my being able to lay them out in columnar fashion.

If forced to make a stand, I would favour sticking with the proposed DP wording, and accept that we will all be indirectly facing inevitable legal bills into the future. MBIE should get out of the way, and leave the protagonists to battle it out though the courts. In the meantime, we still have the arbitrary Schedule 4 protection through the Kopu - Hikuwai boundary, for what its worth, with Oceania and others nibbling at the edges!




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Reader Comments (2)

These appeals are still under mediation so it is too early to say that any appeals will go to the Environment Court and possibly further.. Nor do Watchdog and the co-appellants seek "nothing but a total ban on the Peninsula". And there is a whole lot more substance to the appeals than the limited quotes provided.

A key element is whether overlays for the coastal environment and outstanding landscapes for example should be excluded from mining. Reasonable positions given the Watchdog Court of appeal decision on "prohibited activities"

August 15, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterDenis Tegg

Fully accepted Denis and I agree entirely with your comments on the coastal environment and outstanding landscapes.

August 16, 2017 | Registered CommenterBill Barclay

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