New Zealand's top musicians band together to fight controversial Coromandel mining project

The who's-who of New Zealand music have banded together in opposition to a controversial mining project in the Coromandel.

The proposed mine would be built underneath conservation land between Waihī and Whangamatā, with air vents being built above, on a paper road.  

The new campaign 'Musicians Against Mines' will auction off never-before-seen lyrics to fight it.

Ever wonder what on earth Supergroove is saying in their hit 'Can't Get Enough?' 

You're not alone.  

"No one has ever known them," Kiwi music industry mainstay Morgan Donoghue told Newshub.

"Karl was embarrassed of his raps, he never released the lyrics."  

But now you can know, for a price.

The never-before-seen lyrics are to be auctioned off, raising awareness of a proposed mining project in the Coromandel called the Waihī North Project.

Mining company OceanaGold's latest operation would tunnel for nearly 7km underneath conservation land between Waihī and Whangamatā.

Critical air vents would rise to the surface, where 8m-tall stacks would be constructed.

OceanaGold said the combined surface area of the raised clearings would be less than 600 square metres.

But Donoghue said that's nothing to celebrate.

He's also the founder of 'Ours Not Mines,' a movement fighting against mining.

He warns that storm events could send harmful heavy metals into our environment, causing more damage than the planned deforestation for the vents.

"Lead, cadmium, arsenic... if it leaks out of the mine, all the aqua-culture could be gone. All your mussel farming, all your fishing that Shane Jones is so into, all of that could be destroyed."

Donoghue said the Hauraki District Council has already given consents for the air vents.

"The council, without any consultation of iwi or public, granted them a $1 a year licence for 40 years. And that, for me, was wrong."

But OceanaGold still needs to apply for consents for tunnel and mining rights.

This could be approved under the Government's controversial fast-track legislation, if passed.

One of the potential impacts could be habitat damage for the rare Archey's frog, or pepeketua.

While OceanaGold has promised to protect them, the Government says local economies must come first.  

Resources Minister Shane Jones said in December last year: "If there is a mineral, if there is a mining opportunity and it's impeded by a blind frog... goodbye, Freddy." 

In a statement to Newshub OceanGold said: "We respect people have a view and we welcome engagement. Our 30-year track record includes maintaining high standards of environmental stewardship."

But artists like Rodney Fisher from Goodshirt are now among the dozens of artists voicing concern.

"It's so brand New Zealand to be thinking about nature and protect what we got," Fisher told Newshub.

Kirsten Morrell from Goldenhorse is on board too.

"We were exported as a taonga, as a product of New Zealand," she said. "It wasn't about the music. It was about the image of New Zealand as clean and green."

And DJ Sir-Vere agrees.

"Basically fast-tracking things so you don't see... and all of a sudden it's happening. That to me is a massive red flag. Because what are politicians' jobs? To be the voice of the people. But then they want to sneak things through."

Musicians like Benee and P-Money are also on board.

Proceeds from their signed lyrics - historic pieces of paper - will go towards legal costs.