In response to an item last week about the ethical ratings assigned to corporations by Covalence, we received these comments from Collette Spalding of the Waihi Advocacy Services in New Zealand.
”Ethics go out the window when ‘big business’ comes to town. It’s usually welcomed by those who will gain wealth from the operation and their greed outweighs any ethics, facts or common sense others might try and raise. Let’s hope that in the future businesses are more sincere in achieving their ethical goals. The money they spend denying issues would easily cover the costs of fixing problems in many areas,” she wrote.
Waihi Advocacy is a community advocacy service created in 2000 to support neighbours of Newmont Mining‘s Waihi gold mine 110 km southeast of Auckland. The group has conducted four social impact surveys and formed the Distressed Residents Action Team (DRAT) to seek compensation for residents negatively impacted by open pit mining operations.
”The compensation is in my view ‘peanuts’ but was a small step in the right direction,” Spalding wrote. “We are currently trying to get the huge tailings dam covered so the tailings dust does not blow over the community. And [we] are very concerned about ground settlement adjacent to the pit on areas known to be unstable.”
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