Protests against Drilling at Puhipuhi

Te Kāea – news bulletin on Maori Television, 17 June 2016.

While the Evolution Mining Company only began prospecting for gold days ago, protests against the impact the upcoming mining operations will have on the environment.
Dean Nathan reports.
It’s a return home to Puhipuhi for the supervisor of Alton Drilling Company.

Alex Travers (Te Kapotai – hapū of Ngāpuhi):
“The drill crew’s been part of my life for twenty-odd years so it’s just the camaraderie of the boys and they work hard and sometimes they play hard. We just work hard and try and keep our heads down and do the job that we’re contracted to do.”

While it’s exciting times for geologists employed by the Evolution Mining Company. It’s not quite the same for the groups who have long opposed mining in this area.

Rob Theron (Senior Exploration Geologist for Evoution):
“The exciting thing about exploration is that you’re always looking for that next piece of core and deciding the story that it’s telling us.”


Tim Howard (Minewatch Northland):
“It’s not just about the drilling. It’s about where they go from here. The drilling may release some toxic minerals but further down, if they are getting into mining, that’s the danger and we’re all downstream of that point.”

This marks the beginning of prospecting by the Evolution Company for gold and silver in Puhipuhi. At this stage the drill has reached of just over 80 metres into the earth with the aim to drill down to 600 metres at this site.
Yet another protest broke out this afternoon outside the Evolution Mining Company office in Whangārei in opposition to the mining operation that will follow the initial prospecting.

Tim Howard (Minewatch Northland):
“This picket today is to bring them out into the open and challenge them. How can they prove, how can they promise that there will be no toxic pollution? Where will they put their toxic waste?”


Alex Travers (Te Kapotai):
“We understand where they’re coming from. As a Māori guy, I respect the Earth, and I respect their feelings and I understand what they’re saying. But I think our footprint is pretty small and we do everything we can to minimise any environmental risks.”

Dean Nathan, Te Kāea