The Action Coordination Group (ACG) was formed in late 2015 from working relationships in opposition to exploratory drilling and any future mining on Puhipuhi mountain. The formation of the ACG came about shortly after Evolution Mining Ltd, an aggressive Australian exploration and mining company, bought an existing exploration permit from de Greys Ltd of West Australia. This coalition developed from joint planning between Ngati Hau Anti Mining Group and MineWatch Northland and extended to include Ngati Hau Kaumatua Kuia and the Ngati Hau Resource Management Unit.
While other groups had been doing useful research on the implications of mining in this vulnerable area, ie: alternative projects, and or with different approaches to ‘engagement’ with the company etc., the Action Coordination Group was focused upon discouraging Evolution from continuing on with their drilling programme by direct action. The aim was to make it clear to Evolution and their investors that even initial exploratory work was unacceptable, and that local resistance would be explicit from the start. Opponents of exploration and mining associated with the ACG would not politely wait for mining permits to be sought by the company over some years, whilst local people in the meantime are bought out or manipulated.
‘Direct Action,’ conveyed clearly to Evolution Mining that the“the natives were not friendly” and that they should stop their operations at Puhipuhi.
Whilst other factors were at play, Evolution’s gradual withdrawal from Puhipuhi beginning in December 2016 and virtually complete by June 2017 could be seen in part as the result of sustained direct action coordinated by the Action Coordination Group.