A battle to protect conservation land in southern Coromandel has hit a road block because of mining in the region.
Protect Karangahake spokesperson Duncan Shearer is desperate to protect the land in the Kaimai ranges but the fight has become political.
"We are disappointed in Labour, I feel they could have had more backbone and stood up for their conservation values," he said.
Protect Karangahake has been protesting at mining sites for years, with a 4,500 strong petition to show for it.
The petition calls on the Government to extend its conservation reach from the northern Coromandel ranges to the Kaimai in the Bay of Plenty.
Greens MP Gareth Hughes has sided with protestors, saying he believes the land does deserve protection despite being declined by the select committee.
"There will be disappointment for the people of Coromandel, this is something they've been fighting for since the 70's. People will feel like it’s a kick in the gut," Mr Hughes told 1 NEWS.
The Government says they are working on a broader policy of no new mines on conservation land.
Some of the land is being considered as part of Treaty settlements, which may change its status in the future.