Updated: Mar 25, 2020
This week OceanaGold, a significant employer in the Waitaki district, became a Founding Partner of the Waitaki Whitestone Geopark.
The Waitaki Whitestone Geopark Trust this week signed a two-year, $ 40,000 sponsorship agreement with OceanaGold at Macraes mine, which primarily will support community engagement and education by Sasha Morriss, the Geopark’s geo-educator.
Mining is a necessary element in the move towards a sustainable energy economy. OceanaGold has a stated commitment to its focus on the health and safety of its people and the wellbeing of their local communities, and to uphold the highest standards in environmental and sustainability practices.
Geopark Chair Helen Jansen said that this support of the Geopark was a visible sign of belief in the Geopark’s objectives. Geopark Manager Gerard Quinn said, “OceanaGold’s corporate sponsorship would help the Trust considerably as it moves towards becoming financially independent.”
Geoff Hicks, expert advisory panel member to NZ National Commission for UNESCO said, “What a great way to start the New Year, with such an excellent partnership with Oceana Gold. We know such relationships are a key expectation of successful bids to UNESCO, as they seek to widen the reach of the Global Geopark Network. This agreement with Oceana Gold is a tangible expression of the growing success of community engagement in the Waitaki area.”
OceanaGold Macraes Operation Environment and Community Manager Gavin Lee said that the company was really pleased to partner with the Trust in this exciting venture. “Here at Macraes we know what a spectacular landscape this is and the stories it has to tell. It’s great that these experiences will be shared with a wider audience, and that we can be part of that”.