Denis Tegg, the spokesperson for Coromandel Watchdog of Hauraki. A member of the group since the early 1980s, involved in all components of the campaign - bringing communities together, raising awareness, media, peaceful and non-violent direct action, political lobbying, etc. A lawyer, he lives in Thames.
Question: How is it that it only needs the Prime Minister and the Minister for Conservation to say yes to mining? No one else and no Act of Parliament is required!
Gold mining generates huge volumes of hazardous waste (tailings), which is dumped in a tailings dam. The gold is only a tiny proportion of the material extracted, less than 10 parts in one million.
The gold is extracted using cyanide, so safe storage of the mine waste poses a serious problem. Waste rock (overburden) that is not processed, as well as the highly toxic processed waste, is hazardous. Processed rock takes up several times more volume once extracted. The tailings stay toxic for thousands of years. The Newmont, Waihi Gold Tailings dam is on a massive scale of the hazardous waste that is generated 40 million cubic meters.
However, it is more complex and serious than this.
Coromandel with its high rainfall, sensitive shellfish beds plus its Clean Green overseas tourist image if it starts mining, puts NZ's stature at risk, while the governments supposed take of less than 5 million dollars per annum in royalties defies logic.
What can we as an aware, cohesive community do?
Listen to a clear and coherent 50 minute understanding of the issues regarding why we must never desecrate this land, and instead honour it for its natural beauty and diversity. PLUS learn some simple methods of how to take action.