Green Party MP Catherine Delahunty joined a protest against mining exploration in the Kauaeranga Valley this morning, the Green Party said today.
"I am deeply concerned that mining company Newmont Gold has been surveying for gold in protected areas of the Coromandel, including in areas of Schedule 4 conservation land," said Green Party Coromandel-based MP Catherine Delahunty.
Newmont Gold is conducting a geophysical survey of a large area in the Coromandel in order to locate areas where they can expand their gold mining operations.
"It's very upsetting that the Government has granted permits to explore for gold in areas that are off limits to mining," said Ms Delahunty.
"Schedule 4 conservation land is our most precious and high value conservation land, and should be off limits to exploration.
"We do not want the mining companies to know where the gold is because it will fuel their appetite for mining it.
"Last year New Zealanders forced the Government to shelve plans to mine Schedule 4 conservation land, but the Government is testing the waters again by granting exploration permits for protected areas.
"I am particularly fired up because this survey area includes the valley where former Green Party Co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimmons and I live.
"Today we joined locals in saying no to mining in the Coromandel. We love this place and will fight to protect it."