A Green Party MP says a firm which plans to dredge a Coromandel harbour to try to find gold will have a fight on its hands.
Sea Group Holdings has been granted a prospecting permit to collect samples and dredge almost four square kilometres of McGregor Bay, where miners dumped debris and waste in the early years of last century.
However Green Party environment spokesperson Catherine Delahunty says the debris also contains toxic metals which will damage the harbour if disturbed.
Sea Group Holdings' directors Andrew Knight, says the aim of the permit is to clean up the harbour and finding gold would be a bonus.
Mr Knight says testing will start in the New Year.