Iwi members travel from Northland for protest against gold mine

Risks that have been identified include toxic substances leaking into the waterways (Newshub.)
Risks that have been identified include toxic substances leaking into the waterways (Newshub.)

Members and supporters of Northland iwi Ngāti Hau have lined Customs St in Auckland to protest a proposed gold mine.

Evolution Mining Ltd, an Australian company, is exploring at Mt Puhipuhi - a sacred area for Ngāti Hau and the local community - to see if a mine can be opened there.

Dozens of protesters bussed from Northland to Auckland to fight against it, lining up outside Citibank's Auckland office, which they claim is an investor in Evolution Mining.

But Evolution says that isn't the case.

"Citibank provides an administration service which manages investments in publicly-listed companies on behalf of large shareholders," a spokesperson says.

"This service is provided by many of the world's largest banks and many large shareholders commonly use these services when investing in companies listed on stock markets."

Ngāti Hau Anti-Mining spokesperson Vaughan Potter says the proposed mine would badly damage waterways where local snapper spawn.

Iwi members travel from Northland for protest against gold mine

(Newshub.)

"We've come to tell them face-to-face, just what the costs will be to our whenua (land) and waterways," he says.

Evolution Mining says a large amount of work has gone into looking at concerns people have about the exploration being done and the impact it will have on the environment.

Risks that have been identified include toxic substances leaking into the waterways, such as mercury.

"We don't want toxic mining at Puhipuhi, or anywhere else in Northland," Mr Potter says.

Evolution says it's confident the risks are being controlled and there is "no risk to the environment".

Tim Howard, a spokesperson for MineWatch Northland, which is opposed to "toxic mining", says Evolution Mining has been telling their investors the local community supports the bid, something Evolution says it's "unaware" of.

"We're here to set the record straight," Mr Howard said. "We're here standing up, Māori and Pākehā, to say we don't want toxic mining polluting our waterways and polluting our communities."

Newshub.