On Monday local Karangahake resident Linda Gilmore refused to let New Talisman Gold Mines vehicles access their mine site on Mt Karangahake.
Gilmore, a local business owner, has lived in the area for 35 years and was forced to sell her home in Waihi after conditions became unbearable because of mining operations.
“To hear a mining company is coming here [to Karangahake], all I can think of is the lies we were told, the noise, the blasting, the trucks, the total lack of thought for the intrinsic values of life.”
“I love this mountain and all the beautiful walks around here,” said Gilmore.
“We should not have to share conservation land with a mining operation.”
Gilmore raised her children in the area and her family has spent a lot of time in Karangahake gorge, walking, camping and now cycling.
“They love it here, and so do my grandchildren,” said Gilmore.
“A lot of money has been spent on the cycle trail and other tracks in the Karangahake Gorge to successfully encourage tourism, to start mining here now is ridiculous,” continued Gilmore.
Gilmore had previously written to the Minister of Conservation explaining why mining was inappropriate in Karangahake and asking her to come see for herself. She received a stock standard reply from the Ministry’s secretary stating it would be looked into and may reply if “deemed necessary”.
Last week, a petition asking to extend the ‘Schedule 4’ land classification to protect all conservation land in the Coromandel from mining, was presented to Parliament.
Gilmore says she is happy the group now has the commitment of the Labour and the Green party to extend the Schedule 4 land classification.
“But I think it’s disappointing that Maggie Barry is refusing to consider the idea.”
Gilmore said she now sees the local community is left with no other option than peaceful resistance.
“This is our only choice.”