An ex-DOC worker arrested this morning for standing in front of mining vehicles on public conservation land in the Karangahake Gorge says DOC is unable to fulfil their protection and advocacy role, so members of the public are left to do it instead.

Karangahake local Rebecca Gribble says her decision to remain on the road in front of mine vehicles felt like something she just had to do.

“Standing on public conservation land this morning with a mining vehicle coming towards me I felt a profound sense of duty. My feet simply remained rooted to the spot – how could I move aside to let a company through who plan to destroy the very land that I have spent my entire working career trying to protect?”

“I have worked for DOC for the past 15 years on various projects protecting our unique flora and fauna. DOC’s ability to do this has been stripped back over time and now they are nothing but a shell of an organisation.” says Gribble.

“To be arrested while trying to protect DOC land is incredibly sad. The police told me that if I stand in the way of mining vehicles again, I will face court.”

Protest actions on Mt Karangahake have ramped up in the last 3 months after New Talisman Gold Mines Ltd locked off the Portal Pad and commenced clearing land and setting up infrastructure in preparation for triggering their bulk sampling consent, which allows them to take up to 20,000 cubic metres of ore from the mountain over a 2 year period.

Gribble was taken to the Paeroa Police Station, but was subsequently let go with a pre-charge warning.

The community is holding a rally and concert this Saturday September 2nd from 2pm, by the Karangahake community hall, and organisers say it is a chance for people to come together and show just how much support there is for the protection of Mt Karangahake and conservation land throughout the country.

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