Protesting grandmother arrested
Karangahake grandmother Linda Gilmore was arrested on Monday morning while protesting mining on Mt Karangahake.
A group or protesters set off up the mountain, spread out across the Department of Conservation track.
Gilmore said the workers asked them to move twice before calling the police.
‘‘I refused to leave the track and was given a couple of warnings by the officer before I was arrested ,’’ she said.
Gilmore, 64, was given a precharge warning and let go.
‘‘I’m not sure what it really means but I don’t have to go to court or pay a fine,’’ she said.
This is not the first brush with a mining company Gilmore has experienced. She and her family lived in Waihi before the gold mining started there and she feels they were virtually run out of town by them.
‘‘None of us knew what it really meant having a working gold mine so close. We were told there would be no change to how we lived, all lies, the noise, the trucks, the blasting, it all took a toll,’’ she said.
‘‘We were forced to sell our home in Waihi after conditions became unbearable because of mining operations.’’
They moved to Waihi Beach for several years before she bought her current home in Karangahake which she has owned for four years.
‘‘To hear a mining company is coming here [to Karangahake], all I can think of is the lies we were told before the total lack of thought for the intrinsic values of life.’’
Talisman Gold chief executive Matthew Hill said protesters on the mountain were becoming a regular occurrence, especially on fine days, so to have a group walking the track today was no different.
‘‘There were around nine of them and the surveillance cameras picked them up before the workers arrived so they were ready for any problems. The police were called after the protesters, who are totally ineffective, refused to let the company vehicles through,’’ he said.
He said the mine did not stop anyone using the DOC track or from climbing to the top of Mt Karangahake.
‘‘Care must be taken on the bottom part of the track which we share with walkers, our drivers are aware and travel to the conditions. After the track branches, one way to the summit and the other to the mine portal, walkers have complete safety,’’ he said.
Talisman Gold is working on a new walking track which will allow people safer access.
Karangahake resident Linda Gilmore is arrested at a protest on Mt Karangahake on Monday morning.