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Regional Development Minister Shane Jones and Conservation Minister Eugenie need get on the same page about the proposed West Coast garnet mine at Ruatapu, south of Hokitika, National Party spokesperson for West Coast Issues Maureen Pugh says.

“The Provincial Growth Fund has dished out a $10 million loan to the project which will help create 50 new high-paying jobs in our region.

“However, a recently released DoC report indicates the department has highlighted issues of wetlands and waterways even before an application from the mining company has been processed.

“The methodology and mitigation plans will form part of any consent approval but this report sends up a red flag and could be a strong signal that Minister Sage’s ‘No New Mining’ policy is already in place.

“We have a community doing its best to diversify its economy, a Minister who has a pot of cash to dish out to help create 50 new high-paying jobs, and another Minister who seems averse to having any human activity at all on the Coast. One arm of Government is pushing in one direction while another arm pushes back.

“These two Ministers need to talk to each other so the Coast community is not caught in the middle of their political differences.”

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