Today’s announcement that the Huntly East Mine will be closed after the sale of Solid Energy puts the pressure on the Government to help Huntly, says Labour’s Maori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta.
“The closure comes as a significant blow to Huntly where whanau have suffered severe upheaval in the past eight years. Redundancies and job lay-offs have not offered any hope to miners and their whanau.
“I know that the local community will respond as much as possible to offer support where they can but will find it difficult to provide the work and income that these miners and their families need. We have heard reports locally that the mining industry across the Tasman has slowed down so there may not even be an option of travelling to Australia.
“This is a sad day for Huntly and is further evidence that the Government has no plan to transition local economies to low carbon alternatives. Solid Energy mining has had a significant impact on the local environment and the opportunity to restore it should be provided to the local community as a potential employment option, says Nanaia Mahuta.