Puhipuhi Mining Action Group
c/o Jenny Kirk, Coordinator ph 4337267 firstname.lastname@example.org
Media Release 22 September 2016
The current state of Northland’s waterways is poor. It is time the NRC undertook improved oversight and serious management of this deteriorating, and important, resource to our communities.
So says the Puhipuhi Mining Action Group (PMAG) in its submission to the Northland Regional Council’s draft regional plan.
PMAG goes on to say “at present, scientific understanding of the hydrological system and of past impacts and present threats to the health of the region’s waterways is extremely limited.”
“This, along with the current state of degradation, warrants a precautionary stance with regard to future disturbance”.
Jenny Kirk, coordinator for PMAG says the group would like to see the NRC set serious policies to reduce the use and potential for the fouling of freshwater rivers and streams by the dung and urine of farm animals such as dairy, beef, pigs, sheep, etc.
“We would also like to see the NRC make applications for resource consents to use the waterways for agricultural, quarrying and/or mineral exploration use to be non-complying and publicly notified.”
“We would like the NRC to ensure proper electronically controlled fencing is in place for both sides of any waterway crossing, and maintained at all times to ensure stock does not wander up or down the waterway river , and that no contaminated or recirculated waters from quarrying or mineral exploration are returned to the original freshwater bores, aquifers, streams or rivers from which they were taken.”
Jenny Kirk adds that farming is a business, and as such is entitled to tax exemptions and special grants to assist with the financial costs of putting in adequate fencing at stock crossings over waterways.
Among other points made in the PMAG submission is the suggestion that the old Mercury Mine at Puhipuhi be classified as “potentially contaminated land”. This land is currently owned by the Department of Conservation and it is known that the waterways which are closest to the old mine have sediment which is heavily embedded with the toxin mercury.
However, it is unknown just how much the old mercury mine itself is responsible for this contaminated sediment The role of the old mercury mine in creating this contaminated sediment requires further investigation, as does the spatial extent of the contamination.
Having said that, remedial work on the old mercury mine is clearly needed, Ms Kirk says.