SOCIAL IMPACT

One area of the WCCC process that has been a challenge to address is the existing impact of mining in the Waihi community. The mining industry means that Waihi reaps the return of having a significant business in town. However, there are also social and environmental consequences.

In addition to planning positive and proactive initiatives for the future of Waihi there has been a need to look at ways in which the Golden Legacy process can assist those people whose lives have been affected by the presence of mining. The particular effects identified by the Social Impact group are: dust; noise; vibration; property values and resale opportunity. There are also questions about the effect of re-watering and the outfall from the pit lake when filled.

The WCCC process and Golden Legacy initiatives already address the needs that arise in this area. These include the general benefits to the community of increased business opportunities, employment, entertainment and overall social structure. There are also positive spin-offs from the social development working group's proposals which supplement the support networks available for Waihi residents.

In addition to these general matters it is proposed that the community would benefit from:

  • A timeline so that people know what to expect and when
  • A more comprehensive survey of effects; and
  • An advocate whose role would include:

    - Providing information to affected persons and the community
    - Being a watchdog, ensuring compliance with consent conditions
    - Providing a way of resolving issues on a case by case basis
    - Acting as a go-between for the community and the mining company.
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