Community To Elect Four To Waihi Community Forum

Posted by Gold FM on 21/05/2012

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The Hauraki District Council has decided the process that will be followed to set up the committee that will oversee the Newmont Waihi Gold penned PCIP, or Property and Community Investment Policy. Newmont formulated the policy based on feedback it had received from a range of groups and residents after they publicised their intention to mine under properties in the Waihi East end.

A Community Forum is to be elected from within the Waihi community to oversee the governance of the PCIP. The forum will review and make recommendations to Newmont Waihi Gold on PCIP changes and improvements. They'll receive monitoring results, administer the 'Streets Ahead Programme', appoint members of an Independent Review Panel and report to the community.

The Forum will advertise for and then select 3 positions on the Independent Review Panel who will administer the property purchase fund, mediate, or act as an ombudman for the property purchase and top up fund components of the PCIP, and make recommendations to Newmont Waihi Gold, who will also fund the Independent Review Panel.

HDC has decided the Community Forum will be made up of four residents/ratepayers from the PCIP area, one resident who lives outside of the identified PCIP area, two Waihi Ward representatives and two from Newmont Waihi Gold.

Council will call for nominations to the forum around mid-June and an election will be held in the Waihi Ward sometime in July under the provisions of the Local Electoral Act, 2001 to determine who the PCIP Area representatives will be. Council has also decided that the resident/ratepayer who lives outside of the PCIP area (General Waihi Community Representative) will be appointed by the Community Forum. Newmont Waihi Gold is also going to be covering the cost of the election.

At last Tuesday's Waihi Ward meeting it was decided that Councillors Harry Shepherd and Sel Baker will represent the Hauraki District Council on the forum.

Read the PCIP here

Gold FM has also received feedback about the PCIP and the Community Forum. One of the chief concerns was that because Newmont is to fund the elections and the Independent Review Panel, the Council members and Independent Review Panel may favour Newmont Waihi Gold. One of the other things raised was that none of this is legally binding on Newmont. The Community Forum and Independent Review Panel will be providing feedback and making recommendations that may or may not be followed. The concern is that it will be ineffective without 'legal' teeth.