By Dean Nathan 7:06pm, Thursday 28 November 2013 on Te Kāea – the Maori language news bulletin on Maori Television.
A blockade on State Highway 1 at Waiotu marks a step up in action by those in opposition to toxic mining in the district.
According to Te Raa Nehua, “The main objective is informing the Regional Council, the central Govt and the whole world that we will never agree to toxic mining in our backyard.”
The blockage meant that police were charged with creating diversions for traffic from the main road with local farmers noting there is a lot of support for the protest.
It’s been a long fight with locals staunchly against the De Grey Mining Company using its licence to dig for gold and silver on the Puhipuhi plateau in the knowledge that there will be no turning back should toxic minerals get into the water.
MP of Taitokerau Hone Harawira believes, “The Govt need to take heed of the concerns of both Māori and Pākehā of the Whakapara community with regards to toxic mining.”
Locals say the blockades will continue as long as their concerns continue to fall on deaf ears.