500 signatures reached
To: The Ministers of Conservation and the Environment
Open Letter: Honour the Commitment to Protect Coromandel Conservation Land from Mining
To: Ministers of Conservation and the Environment
Hon Eugenie Sage, Hon David Parker
We thank the Government and its Confidence and Supply Partner for the support you have shown for our region by agreeing to extend Schedule 4 over the Southern Hauraki/Coromandel Conservation lands.
This public commitment was made prior to the September 2017 election and is part of the Labour* and the Green Party's* policies for the Conservation Estate.*
We write this open letter to ask that you implement the extension of Schedule 4 with urgency, as mining activity is currently underway in this area of ecological importance.
The Schedule 4 area established in the 1990s by the National Government has a southern boundary at the Kopu-Hikuai Highway for political rather than ecological reasons. The conservation lands from Kopu-Hikuai to Te Aroha are equally as important as the Schedule 4 areas on the northern peninsula, and also deserve protection from the damaging effects of mining.
Local communities have worked hard for several decades to extend Schedule 4 and its protections to these lands, which are well known for their significant recreational and ecological values. One petition asking to extend Schedule 4 gained 17,000 signatures.*
Right now there is prospecting and exploration activity taking place in this area, including in the habitat of the world's most endangered amphibian, the Archey's frog. It also encompasses areas of high recreational use, which are vital to the local economy. Walking, bike trails and other nature-based tourism is growing here; MBIE estimates that visitors contribute $454m each year to the combined Thames-Coromandel and Hauraki Districts.*
We look forward to your response to this letter and the implementation of both Labour and the Green Party's excellent commitment to extending Schedule 4 for the benefit of the region, the environment and the nation as a whole.
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Image supplied by John Fitzgerald Photography
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Why is this important?
Precious conservation land in the Southern Coromandel is under increasing pressure from mining activities.
Within the Karangahake Gorge, an important ecological corridor and popular visitor destination, New Talisman Gold Mines is preparing for what they hope will be a second gold rush.
Deep in the hills behind Whangamata, Oceana Gold is busy exploring for gold in the habitat of the world's most endangered amphibian the Archey's frog.
Please sign the open letter and support the call to the Minister of Conservation and the Minister of the Environment to honour the commitment to protect these special places.