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31, Oct, 2007

Coromandel Watchdog Wins Prohibition on Mining on Coromandel Peninsula


Category: Coromandel Watchdog of Hauraki

Coromandel Watchdog has won a milestone legal battle to protect conservation and coastal land in the Thames Coromandel District from mining. In a decision released today the Court of Appeal has upheld Watchdog’s appeal from earlier decisions of the Environment Court and High Court.

Coromandel Watchdog sought to have prohibited all mining on land zoned “conservation” or “coastal” in the Thames Coromandel District Plan

The legal case relates to the definition of "prohibited activity" in the Resource Management Act.. The Environment and High Court's decisions were to provide a very restricted definition, which effectively would have allowed a mining company to apply for a resource consent for an opencast or underground mine in the conservation and coastal zones.

Todays decision means the Thames Coromandel Council has legal confirmation that it may prohibit mining on conservation land (which comprises 70% of the Coromandel Peninsula), and on the magnificent coastal areas of the District. Mining companies will no longer be able to apply for a resource consent to mine in these zones.

The appeal was opposed by The Minerals Association which represents most major mining companies, and controversially by the Ministry of Economic Development.

Watchdog has been extremely fortunate to have secured expert legal counsel to represent it (Robert Enright of Kensington Swan). In addition, both the Auckland Regional Council and the Auckland City Council agreed to back Watchdog's appeal. ARC and ACC, and most other local authorities in New Zealand, regularly use prohibited activities as an effective tool under the Resource Management Act.

Watchdog’s victory continues it proud history, dating back to the 1970’s, of environmental activism to protect the unique Coromandel environment from the devastating effects of gold mining.

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Contact: Denis Tegg 07 868 9090 or 027 210 5344

Michele Fill (Chairperson) 07 868 9688 or 027 295 6616