Nikki Preston

Nikki Preston is a Herald reporter based in Hamilton.

Mine-plan backers outnumber rivals

Submissions on Waihi Golden Link project three to one in favour.

Green Party MP Catherine Delahunty is fighting Newmont's bid to mine the Correnso ore body at Waihi. Photo / Alan Gibson
Green Party MP Catherine Delahunty is fighting Newmont's bid to mine the Correnso ore body at Waihi. Photo / Alan Gibson

Support for Newmont Gold's plans to mine underneath residential property in Waihi East is so far outweighing opposition.

The hearing for the application for the Golden Link Project starts today in the Waihi Memorial Hall and about 160 people and groups have indicated they want to be heard.

The Hauraki District Council received 500 written submissions on the project, which includes a plan to mine the Correnso ore body and any other ores underneath Waihi East homes for 20 years.

Of the submissions, 364 supported the application and 115 opposed it.

District council strategic planning project manager Mark Buttimore said the split was unsurprising given the strong cases for and against.

But of those who put in submissions wanting the mine to go ahead, only 49 lived in the area. This compared to 69 Waihi East residents opposing it because of concerns relating to noise from the blasts, possible negative insurance implications and reduced property values.

A further 33 submissions were received from people living in the wider Waihi area who also want the proposal canned.

Green MP Catherine Delahunty is among appellants fighting Newmont's bid.

Three independent commissioners will hear the submissions at hearings that are likely to last three weeks.

- NZ Herald

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