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.

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