Protesters trespass in ongoing Coromandel drilling spat

  • 22/05/2016
(Protect Karangahake)
(Protect Karangahake)

Ten people were issued trespass notices at the Mt Karangahake drilling site in the Coromandel this afternoon, in an ongoing spat between locals and Australian-based company Newscrest Mining Ltd.

After police arrived at the site, seven were issued with trespass notices, two with summons for a court appearance on trespass charges and one was arrested for trespass, according to action group Protect Karangahake.

At around midday, 25 Protect Karangahake protesters took to the oil rig site for the third time, determined to stop the drilling operation.

"This rig has been drilling into the side of the mountain 24/7 for two weeks -- it is undoubtedly having an impact on wildlife in this area -- one of New Zealand's most important ecological corridors," says member Lucy Aitken-Read.

She says they can hear and feel noise from their home in Waitawheta, and these are only the early stages of mining.

"I believe Newcrest Mining need to hear the message that we will not tolerate their exploitative practice here, right on the edge of Conservation land."

One protester reportedly climbed the rig and others 'yarn-bombed' the site.

Protesters trespass in ongoing Coromandel drilling spat


But this is not the first time.

Last Sunday the group staged a protest, temporarily shutting down the drill. Five protesters were issued with trespass notices, but hours after the group left the site, drilling started up again.

Newscrest told Newshub that the protesters want to see district permits and landowner permission before any work commences.

"Environmental management plans are developed to identify and outline controls to prevent potential environmental impacts during the establishment of the drill site and during drilling activity," a spokesperson said.

"All drill sites will be fully rehabilitated once drilling has been completed."

Protesters trespass in ongoing Coromandel drilling spat

(Protect Karangahake)

A week earlier, the same group protested outside the site and delivered a letter to the mining company, which is based in Australia.

Newscrest is one of the world's largest gold mining companies, with mines in Australia, Papaua New Guinea, Indonesia and West Africa.

The current drill site is on two exploration areas -- Waitekauri and Owharoa -- under current permits issued by the New Zealand Government.