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Not even miners will dig Gerry out

Written By: - Date published: 2:42 pm, May 4th, 2010 - 19 comments
Categories: Conservation, Mining - Tags: , , , , ,

When you’re that far on the backfoot, it’s not hard to teeter further. The CTU has today come out against the Government’s mining plans; a position even Brownlee admits is “a bit of a surprise” given the union’s membership includes miners.

What’s the score now? I say time for a quick tally. We’ve got the world’s biggest environmental group slamming the plans, the Commissioner for the Environment giving them the thumbs down, 50,000 people voting with their feet, Lucy Lawless delivering a suprisingly knock out performance on Campbell Live, John Banks hoisting his flag up the anti-mining mast again, telling media “i’m totally opposed to mining. Everybody knows that.” And that’s to say nothing of Mike Moore and his bizarre comment about a wet finger.

Meanwhile, across town, the Auckland Regional Council has just come out in unanimous opposition to any mining on Great Barrier.

What say you Mr Brownlee? Could it be your resolve is slipping along with your footing?

19 comments on “Not even miners will dig Gerry out”

  1. lprent 1

    What I find really appalling is that Brownlee couldn’t even argue his own corner.

    I’d have expected by now that the Ministry of Economic Development would have been able to put some reasonably robust numbers on some scenarios of mining.

    Things like expected lease/royalty rates and the relative risk levels based on historic changes in commodity prices. Some idea of tax-takes from mining. An idea of how many of people could be locally employed against the number of those contracted in from overseas. The potential spin-offs for local industry compared to the required imports. The risks and costs of cleanup. The risks of causing issues for our other industries.

    In other words, the economic justification. I haven’t seen any of that apart from some frigging back of the envelope numbers by lobby groups.

    That could be compared to the benefits of of not touching the schedule 4 lands with water quality, tourism and the other multitudinous factors.

    I hate to say this, but I’d want to see Treasury do a rigorous evaluation. The MED don’t appear to be up to doing the task, or even more likely, they know that the answer is likely to be pretty damn bad. That is my strong feeling from what I know of mining. But MED have been following the Ministers instructions.

    Since the Minister in this case appears to be an idiot training to be a moron in political terms, the whole thing has been handled appallingly.

    Hardly surprising that there is widespread opposition, and it is getting wider all of the time. Kiwi’s don’t like being bullshitted to.

  2. great graphic

    brownlee is going down –

    “I think people are just reacting to what they understand the proposal to be. It is in fact a very very moderate and modest proposal to enable further exploration in those areas, it’s not a commitment to mining in those areas, although we do want the mining sector in general to grow,” Mr Brownlee told reporters.”

    No gerry – not moderate or modest – 90% of Rakiura National Park as initially put forward is not modest or moderate – I don’t really believe you even know what those words mean. And the ‘stocktake’ bullshit doesn’t fly anymore – too many lies and half truths gerry.

    I put much personal blame onto brownlee – he isn’t just the messenger – he is the instigator.

    • Lew 2.1

      I think Brownlee’s own reputation and the government’s record on things like this are a solid part of the reason why people are opposed to these proposals. On the face of it, what is proposed is reasonable and moderate — it’s just that we know it won’t stop there.

      Electorates tend to respond less to what politicians say they will do and more to what they think what politicians intend to do. The electorate can see a good deal of daylight between what is proposed and what would likely eventuate if the proposal was allowed to progress. This makes mining a matter of trust in the government, and at present the message is clear that they’re not trusted.

      L

      • sk 2.1.1

        Sorry Lew, I appreciate your intellect is a howitzer compared to our pop-guns, but what has been been proposed is neither reasonable nor moderate . .. .

        • Lew 2.1.1.1

          What has been proposed is to have a look. That, on its own, is reasonable. If that’s all it was, there wouldn’t be any problem. But as someone on here said months ago when this was first brought up, you don’t do a stock-take if you don’t intend to put things up for sale.

          L

          • sk 2.1.1.1.1

            But that is all semantics. The decision is made at time of deciding to take a look, a priori to finding anything. And as Dave Craw was quoted today, the only way you really find out is by digging a bloody big hole

            • Lew 2.1.1.1.1.1

              Yes, I agree — but that’s a technicality also. As a matter of public perception, “having a look” should be a much easier sell than “digging a hole”, and yet, it hasn’t been. That’s not due to any great awareness of how the nuts and bolts of mining works, so much as it is of a native distrust of Gerry Brownlee and the National party when it comes to environmental matters.

              Duplicate that distrust to the economy, welfare, law and order, etc. and you’ve got yourself an election.

              L

              • I have actually thought about this because the idea of a “stocktake” of itself is not so easy to oppose. But the nats are guilty of talking with forked tongues on this.

                If they had a geologist do a bit of a dig around and then report on the quiet then I am sure it would have been hidden deep in a departmental budget and no one would have been the wiser.

                But they have trumpeted the stocktake to the sky and every time someone hears “stocktake” they actually hear “open cast mining”.

                This is the Nat’s excuse for a job development and economic development policy. Dig and hope …

              • Armchair Critic

                It’s a pretty important technicality, Lew. Kind of like a man saying to his wife “I’m just off to K’Rd to check out the prostitutes. I’m not planning to actually do anything at this stage, honestly, I’ll just look.”
                It’s hardly a surprise that an upset has resulted.
                Capcha – ride. The capcha is in a crass mood tonight.

              • Lew

                AC, I’m not saying it’s surprising that it’s played this way — I’ve been saying for ages that this is an issue where the government has read the public mood wrong.

                But NZ is not opposed to all mining, and neither is the Labour party. Done right, and by people whom the public could trust would not take the piss mining was an issue which, if not an outright vote-grabber, would not have been nearly so contentious.

                L

              • Armchair Critic

                Lew, I know, and agree, and wasn’t trying to debate or disagree.

              • Lew

                AC, righto then.

                I’ve been reflecting on how high the stakes are on this one. If National backs off with a bloodied nose from this, it’ll be a huge triumph for Labour and the Greens, and future National governments will be gun-shy. If they keep at it despite the misgivings of the electorate, eventually they’ll be voted out and the projects which have gotten underway will be shut down. That’ll essentially take mining off the table for National for a decade or so. The country won’t trust them; like they wouldn’t trust Labour on the economy after Rogernomics, or National on welfare after the MOAB. This could deliver Labour and the Greens an unimpeded opportunity to set the mineral agenda, and set the country on a path to smart, high-value mining, rather than dig-and-hope and the mass extraction of low-value, low-density materials.

                But if they can drill on through and get away with it, or if Labour backs down from the pledge to reverse any concessions without compensation, then all bets are off.

                L

  3. Lanthanide 3

    As Labour has already promised to shut down any mining on Schedule 4 with no compensation to companies involved next time they are in office, this issue is essentially dead. No companies are going to take that risk after the march in Auckland.

    I just hope it is a few more weeks before National finally wake up and can the idea because all this is doing is making them look stupid to the electorate.

  4. bobo 4

    nice pic of a big chunk of fools gold there :)

  5. An even greater risk is that they do scrap the schedule 4 plans, and everyone goes “man, glad that’s over” but we’re still left with a Government with an antidiluvian approach to economic growth, a massive coal/lignite mining agenda both on and off conservation land and a complete inability to grasp the fact the economy is a wholly owned subsidiary of the environment.

  6. aj 6

    Gerry has a history of not backing down. So no surprise, but it’s one thing to try to walk on water in opposition and to attempt it in government

  7. Neil 7

    if the CTU took a secret ballot of their members how do know the miners were against?

  8. “Not even miners will dig Gerry out.”

    I don’t think they could even dig him out if they tried.
    Euphemisms aside – the Nats spin on this is rapidly being unwound.
    Only question is: Will John flip, or will John flop?

  9. I’ll make a prediction.

    We are apparently borrowing $ 250 million a week for some reason. The banks are on the verge of collapsing due to their gambling with derivatives, something by the way John Key knows all about, and they want their hands on our real world resources and when the time comes we will be told that due to our heavy debt we will have to mine if we ever want to crawl out of that debt.

    With that will come heavy cuts in our ACC, pension funds and whatever else the international banking scheisters want to plunder. When? Quit possibly within the year.

    How? With big bad panic announcements about previously hidden debts perhaps (by labour of course) and scaremongering about New Zealands ability to pay those debts. Think Greece.

    We can only hope that the last year they have been trying the resistance and have found it to fierce what with 50.000 people showing up on a demo and all but I won’t hold my breath.

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