Monday, January 07, 2008
A while ago I think I posted a shot of a mural here in Waihi. I had helped a little with the drawing up of it. Well, here's a progress photo. The artist is John Mulvay. I've posted one shot that shows the Cornish Pumphouse, in the distance, that cost millions to move. The mural is in the centre of our little town, the models for the figures are local residents, the street and other details from photographs of Waihi in the early 1900's. The open cast gold mine is just behind the shops shown. A few months ago there was some kind of "accident" with the blasting and rocks fell on nearby buildings, including the Video Ezy store which is further up (the sliver of light blue in front of the dark green tree). Isn't that amazing? And now the mining company wants to extend their licence to mine the east and west walls of the open pit even further, although previous consents have declared open cast mining would not continue. Open cast mining is not permitted in residential areas, however it is my understanding that the mining company would need to, if they decide to continue with this plan, apply for a change of zoning for some of the land they would want to take. Not only that, but apparently the district council would have to change their District Plan to permit this further mining. Means moving the local primary school and the main road to the local high school. We might even lose our quick access to town and have to drive around these extensions. Open cast mining was supposed to stop some time ago. All these laws and consents seem to mean nothing when a company can simply get them changed. I thought the job of the council was to work for all ratepayers, work to improve the lives of all residents. Seems our Council is keeping it's head down - we certainly haven't heard anything at all from them in any public way such as interviews or articles in the newspaper, and I know lots of people have written and phoned the Council to protest the idea of further open cast mining.