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Proposed Hauraki District Plan causing concern

Proposed Hauraki District Plan causing concern

Posted October 16, 2020

Proposed changes to the Hauraki District Plan are causing concern for some Waihi residents who feel the Council has not correctly notified the scale of the change, in particular in regard to the Hazardous Substances and Contaminated Land section 7.7 of the plan.

Hauraki District Plan Change 4 has been notified to the public as administrative changes to the Operative Hauraki District Plan and submissions close today at 4 pm.

The notice on Council’s website says proposed changes are to amend definitions; correct cross references; update maps, schedules (eg Significant Natural Areas, Heritage Features, Significant Trees) and references to external documents; and to make relatively minor amendments to improve overall consistency and administration of the District Plan. There is no mention of changes to the Hazardous Substances and Contaminated Land section of the plan until more documentation attached to the notice is opened and read through.

Changes to Hazardous Substances and Contaminated Land section 7.7 are 22 pages and quite comprehensive.

A technical report on the corporate OceanaGold website published in August 2020 details the proposed Hauraki District Plan changes the mining company will seek including the change to Chapter 7.7 Hazardous Substances and Contaminated Land of the Hauraki District Plan.

• Rezone all properties supporting the expansion / operation of the Martha Mine from Residential,

Low-Density Residential and Town Centre Zones to Martha Mineral Zone;

• Rezone all properties supporting the establishment / operation of the GOP from Rural Zone to Martha Mineral Zone;

• Rezone all properties supporting the expansion / development of the TSF and rock disposal area from Rural Zone to Marth Mineral Zone;

• Update the introductory text and policies for the Martha Mineral Zone in Chapter 5.17 of the Hauraki District Plan;

• Introduce a new controlled activity rule for surface mining, mining operations, rehabilitation and landscaping works at the Martha Mine, where the works are undertaken in accordance with a mine

structure plan, mine slope profile plan and various performance standards;

• Introduce a new controlled activity rule for surface mining, mining operations, rehabilitation and landscaping works at the other surface facilities for the projects, where the works are undertaken in accordance with a mine structure plan (or similar), mine slope profile plan and various performance standards;

• Remove several trees contained within the footprint of the expansion of the MOP5 from the schedule of significant trees in Chapter 6.4 of the Hauraki District Plan; and

• Update the hazardous substances rules in Chapter 7.7 of the Hauraki District Plan so they recognise

the need to use and store hazardous substances in the Martha Mineral Zone.

OceanaGold has already signalled to the Hauraki District Council and to the community of Waihi that they intend to apply for resource consents for Project Quattro to progress mining in the area for a further 35 years.

Project Quattro, if approved, would allow for four major activities, including an expansion of the Martha open pit, a new open pit to the south of Waihi and west of the current processing plant, a rock stack and a third tailings storage area.

It’s a complex proposal with local road alignments, relocation of Waihi features like the Cornish PumpHouse and important trees, the removal of houses, other buildings and more.

Concerned residents who contacted Gold FM feel this plan change should have been identified more openly in the public notification.

Submissions close today at 4 pm today.