The mission was the same as last time, to stop the drilling and send a clear message to the mining companies that Karangahake is too precious to mine.
About 30 members and supporters walked the 2 hours to get to the rig, which is on private land about 200 metres from the edge of the DoC estate’s southern edge. The drill can penetrate hundreds of metres underground and could easily reach under the fence. If any significant gold reserve is discovered then no current law prevents them from beginning a new wave of underground mining in the DoC estate, entering from private land… except us.
At the same time we held a rally in the Karangahake car park. This was our opportunity to inform the public about what we were doing on the mountain and to get a sense of how the public see the drilling activity.
This is why we protest, to raise awareness, to prevent, if at all possible, another major mining operation taking root in Hauraki’s jewel – Karangahake. Once at the drill site we trialled a new form of protest – yarn bombing. This involved weaving balls of wool around the perimeter fence and told the company we shall not have the wool pulled over OUR eyes.
Then Lucy scrambled up on top of the drilling rig and said, “I am sitting on this drilling rig today to stop Newcrest Mining Ltd completing their work here on the side of Mount Karangahake. This rig has been drilling into the side of the mountain 24/7 for two weeks – it is undoubtedly having an impact on wildlife in this area – one of New Zealand’s most important ecological corridors. We can feel the vibrations and hear the noise from our home in Waitawheta. We have yarn bombed the site and we are awaiting trespass notices and arrest. These are the early stages of mining and I believe Newcrest Mining need to hear the message that we will not tolerate their exploitative practice here, right on the edge of Conservation land.”
After the police arrived 10 people in total were trespassed. 7 were issued with trespass notices, 2 were issued with summons for a court appearance on trespass charges and 1 was arrested for trespass and resisting arrest.