Green Party says arrest highlights the National government’s entrenched attitude on mining conservation land

The Green Party strongly condemns the National government’s refusal to ban mining on conservation land which is forcing people to face arrest.

About 30 people gathered at Mt Karangahake on Coromandel Peninsula this morning to protest against mining in the conservation area and one person was arrested.

It follows a number of arrests at protests at the site in past weeks.

“People are being forced to take a stand and put themselves in harm’s way to protect this beautiful conservation area at Mt Karangahake because the Government won’t,” said Coromandel-based Green Party MP, Catherine Delahunty.

A petition with 4,687 signatures was presented at Parliament two weeks ago calling for all conservation land to be protected from mining on the Coromandel Peninsula.

The petition calls on the government to extend Schedule 4 status to the entire Coromandel Ecological District, which would change Mt Karangahake’s conservation status to treasured and protected from mining.

New Talisman Gold has rights to extract bulk gold sampling from Karangahake, which Ms Delahunty says is in direct conflict with the local community’s wishes and those of the many visitors who enjoy using the area.

“The National government has got its priorities totally wrong when it actively encourages mining on conservation land and people have to protest peacefully and risk arrest to defend the natural and recreational values of precious conservation land.”