Amenity Effect Programme

OceanaGold Waihi New Zealand Ltd operates in close proximity to a number of residential properties in the Waihi community and under very stringent limits on noise, vibration and dust imposed by our mining licence and resource consents.

Consent limits are designed to be protective of amenity for most of the Waihi community for most of the time. However, we recognise that some residents close to the Martha and the  underground mines may, from time to time, experience a perceived reduction in amenity due to mining activities.

The AEP aims to offset a perceived loss of amenity.  It is voluntary for Martha operations but is mandatory for Correnso and any other CEPA operations.

The Programme

The AEP establishes an arrangement between OGL and residents as identified as experiencing some effect on amenity despite the mining operations being conducted within consent compliance limits.

An initial, one-off enrolment payment of $500 is made to qualifying residents who join the programme, with additional payments made each six months for the life of the mine. The payment is calculated based on measured effects as monitored and recorded by OGL during the preceding six months.

Eligibility

Monitoring results identify properties where the AEP qualifying criteria have been triggered (see explanation below).

Participation is voluntary and residents will be contacted by OGL staff if it is determined that qualifying criteria have been met at their address.

While the majority of residents are happy to receive AEP payments, we understand that some may choose not to be part of the programme.  However a resident who initially decides not to join the programme will have the option of joining at any subsequent time as long as the qualifying criteria have been met.

Qualifying criteria

General

  • Tenants of rental accommodation must have lived at the address for a minimum period of six months before they will be enrolled to receive AEP payments.

Blast vibration

  • Two or more blasts in one month with ground vibration equal or greater than 1.5mm/s in magnitude.

Commencement

The programme commenced 1 January 2007, approximately coinciding with the start of the Southwall Stability Cutback in the Martha open pit, production in the Favona underground mine, and an initial trial period for the AEP agreed between NWG, DRAT, Thames-based former Green MP Jeanette Fitzsimons, and the owners/occupiers of six properties selected for the trial. This is now part of the Correnso Underground Mine Conditions of Consent.

Payment Rates

Payments are based on OceanaGold Waihi Operation’s monitoring results and a schedule of rates that increases payments with increasing magnitudes of vibration.

While the payments will vary depending on the mine-related effects experienced, a ‘minimum’ payment of $250 has been established that will apply to all qualifying residents in any six month period.

Rates are adjusted annually in line with the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

Jan 2014 Jan 2015 Jan 2016
CPI Annual movement 1.6% 0.8% 0.1%
Measured Vibration (mm/sec)
1.5 – 3.5 $17.98 $18.13 $18.27
3.5 – 5.0 $53.85 $54.28 $54.71
5.0 – 6.0 $179.83 $181.27 $182.72
6.0 + $357.63 $360.49 $363.38

CPI courtesy Statistics New Zealand

Tax Liabilities

IRD have issued a product ruling which states that payments received by persons under the AEP are not assessable (taxable) income.  There fore it is not necessary for you to declare this income.

The ruling applies from 12 March 2009.

Work and Income advises us that qualifying residents receiving national superannuation or a benefit should talk with their case manager prior to receiving any payment.

Future Projects

For further information about the AEP please contact the Community Engagement Officer Jeannine.wiki@oceanagold.com
Phone 0800 WAIHIGOLD (0800 924 4444 )