An Independent Commissioners Hearing Panel decision which allows foreign mining giant Newmont Gold to mine under people's houses against their will sets a dangerous precedent, the Green Party said today.
"New Zealanders should be concerned that the National Government and local councils are allowing mining under residential homes, against the will of the homeowners," said Green Party mining spokesperson Catherine Delahunty.
Ms Delahunty was responding to the Hauraki District Council's Independent Commissioners Hearing Panel which ruled today to allow Newmont Waihi Gold to develop New Zealand's first modern mine directly below a residential area.
"Although the affected residents had their day in court, it was a David and Goliath situation. The local people couldn't afford expert testimony to dispute the company's experts," said Ms Delahunty.
"Given the depressed housing market in Waihi, affected residents are now at the mercy of Newmont to buy them out, or they must live with the effects of the vibrations and noise.
"This is an unfair choice, and the Green Party has supported these residents all along.
"When it comes to the expansion of mining in Waihi, foreign corporate interests have won out over the interests of everyday New Zealanders.
"Once again Waihi residents will pay the price in further disruption to their lives so that Newmont can make more profit that will flow offshore."