New Zealanders should be concerned that the National Government and local councils are allowing mining under homes against the will of residents
Green Party MP Catherine Delahunty is launching a Member’s Bill today which will protect residents from mineral mining underneath their homes.
“My Bill will protect New Zealanders from having minerals companies disrupt their lives by mining underneath their homes,” said Ms Delahunty.
Ms Delahunty’s Crown Minerals (Homes and Residences Exemption) Amendment Bill will prohibit the granting of mining permits for minerals in respect of land within 300 metres of residential premises.
“New Zealanders should be concerned that the National Government and local councils are allowing mining under homes against the will of residents,” said Ms Delahunty.
“Many residents fought very hard to stop foreign-owned Newmont Gold from mining under their homes in Waihi, and lost.”
Last month the Waikato Regional Council granted resource consents to Newmont Waihi Gold for its Correnso Underground Mine which will go under 44 Waihi homes. This followed a lengthy battle by affected residents.
“In the future, more homeowners could face the prospect of mining underneath their homes. For example, Newmont Gold has mining permits which cover land with 1100 houses in Waihi,” said Ms Delahunty.
“Residents should not have to be put through an ordeal, possibly lasting several years, in an attempt to protect themselves against the noise, vibration disruption, and health risks from having mineral mining underneath their homes.
“My Bill would ensure that mining companies cannot make a profit at the expense of the quality of New Zealanders’ home life. It simply isn’t okay for companies to be able to mine underneath homes,” said Ms Delahunty.
Ms Delahunty is launching her Bill today at a public meeting at 3pm in the Waihi Memorial Hall, Seddon Street, Waihi. The public meeting is with John Krey, an Australian community organiser who stood up to mining giant Rio Tinto and won a landmark court case preventing the company’s planned expansion of an open cast coal mine close to his town’s boundary.