Victory against mining at Puhipuhi
Evolution Mining Ltd has withdrawn from their exploration work at Puhipuhi in Northland.
While their gradual withdrawal has been evident, though the signs may have reflected only a temporary withdrawal, Evolution today has finally admitted that they are withdrawing from their exploration activities at Puhipuhi.
This is a major success for the activists within Ngati Hau and community-based organisations like MineWatch Northland who have opposed moves towards gold mining at Puhipuhi for some three years, and since 2012 have challenged the Government's highly advertised 'opening up of Northland for mining'.
MineWatch Northland is one of the four groups that are part of the Action Coordination Group fighting exploration and mining at Puhipuhi. The others are Ngati Hau Anti-Mining Group, Ngati Hau Kuia Kaumatua, Ngati Ha Resource Management Unit. The Action Coordination Group has been responsible for drawing together the protest action against Evolution over recent years.
"Evolution have pulled out because of strong tangata whenua and community opposition. This Australian company have tended to operate secretively, while pretending to be open to the community and receiving plenty of community support. They have given lame excuses for their withdrawal. And once more they have not been transparent - they have had to be drawn out of their secrecy to admit embarrassedly that they have been withdrawing for the last few months," said MineWatch Northland spokesperson Tim Howard.
"Evolution have never been honest because they knew the community was strongly opposed to them. But this is a victory for their opponents."
"Evolution have done all they can to divide the community. And in the process they have put the waters of Puhipuhi and the people at risk. Now we need them to be clear about their situation - and hand in the three Exploration Permits they hold in Northland (Puhipuhi, Russell Forest, Te Mata Block)."
"And we need Northland Regional Council, Northland Inc, and central Government's ministers and agencies (NZP&M, MBIE), to focus on protecting the environment and listen to the kaitiaki and people on the ground - rather than the well-paid spin doctors of corporate business."
"Common sense supposedly tells us that we can't beat the corporates and their political supporters. This victory shows once again that flaxroots people acting together can push back and win against them - one step at a time."