While anti-mining organisation Coromandel Watchdog of Hauraki, welcomes a government announcement confirming there will be no new mines on conservation land, it's business as usual for the mining companies already in operation.
Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage confirmed the new Government will strengthen the protection for public conservation land by making it off-limits for new mining.
The announcement was made as part of the Speech from the Throne at Parliament, outlining the Government's policy and legislative proposals.
Organisation spokesman Augusta Macassey-Pickard, is calling for both New Talisman at Karangahake and Oceana Gold at Waihi to ‘pack up and leave'.
Both companies are operating under existing consents.
Talisman CEO Matt Hill says at Karangahake, they're operating in an existing mine that has been a mine for 100 years.
“I assume when they talk about new mines and specifically they talk about open pits,” says Matt.
“As it stands today we are compliant with all local and regional planning laws, resource consents for our bulk sampling project within the footprint of an existing mine.”
The Rahu prospect across the river from the Karangahake mine is also able unaffected because it can be accessed from private land.
The Karangahake mine site was the focus of recent protest action as land surrounding the mine has been subsequently added to the conservation estate.
“We haven't seen them up at the mine at all since the day of the election,” says Matt. “No more Z nails being thrown on the road, no more people walking in the morning. We haven't seen boo. It was a nice little campaign.”
Augusta Macassey-Pickard is also calling for Oceana Gold, which is drilling on DOC land at Parakiwai, inland from Whangamata, to pack up and leave.
“Oceana should also stop taking out exploration licences in the northern Coromandel where DOC land is now fully protected," says Augusta.
"We have worked for this day for so long. We look forward to supporting the extension of Schedule four protection and we are hoping to see a move to further strengthen other legal mechanisms, which will protect all conservation land from gold or coal mining.
"It is fantastic to have a Conservation Minister who recognises the actual purpose of conservation land and we are very pleased that she has shown immediate leadership on this issue."
Ocean Gold spokesman Kit Wilson was unable to be contacted.