Brownlee digs the Nats a deeper hole

Written By: - Date published: 10:31 am, April 27th, 2010 - 14 comments
Categories: Mining - Tags: ,

Forest and Bird has revealed more secrets and lies from National as Gerry Brownlee and co continue their mad, illogical rush to open up specially protected land to mining.

On March 22, Brownlee announced the Government’s mining discussion document. It includes opening up parts of Great Barrier, Coromandel, Thames, and Paparoa to mining and investing $4 million in surveying the mineral potential of other areas. At the press conference Brownlee was asked what Mt Aspiring National Park, which he had previously talked up as a potential mining site, was excluded from the survey. He said ‘the government has decided, for reasons of its own, not to pursue mining potential in that area’ (since when did the Government get to have ‘reasons of its own? I guess since the Worth sacking).

But Brownlee was lying. The very same day, he signed an order blocking mining companies from prospecting in areas that would be subject to the $4 million survey. Mt Aspiring was included. Brownlee was clearly trying to keep that under wraps as long as possible for fear of whipping up even more political backlash Mt Aspiring is not only iconic to New Zealanders, it is a major tourist destination.

Brownlee’s office has claimed it’s all innocent. The excuse is, seriously, that they aren’t going to survey Mt Aspiring, just nearby areas and couldn’t be bothered drawing a more precise map of the areas where prospecting was to be suspended.

What an awfully bad lie!

You would have thought these clowns could come up with something halfway believable. As if the Government would spend all that money investigating the mineral potential of an area it had decided not to mine just to make drawing the map simpler. And some of the other areas that will be investigated are quite complicated shapes.
We expect lies from these guys, but we used to get ones that were at least vaguely plausible.

All of this is starting to tell for the Government. The polls are all falling for the Nats down 4.2% in the latest from TV3. That poll also found that 53% of people oppose mining on Schedule 4 land.

14 comments on “Brownlee digs the Nats a deeper hole”

  1. Pascal's bookie 1

    The excuse is, seriously, that they aren’t going to survey Mt Aspiring, just nearby areas and couldn’t be bothered drawing a more precise map of the areas where prospecting was to be suspended.

    Shhhh! nobody tell them about the Public Works Act. [/whisper]

  2. tsmithfield 2

    They forgot to include Mount Cook on the schedule. Then everyone would be able to breath an even greater sigh of relief when it doesn’t happen.

  3. Fisiani 3

    All of this is starting to tell for the Government. The polls are all falling for the Nats down 4.2% in the latest from TV3. That poll also found that 53% of people oppose mining on Schedule 4 land.

    Really? As you that delusional?

    You forgot to mention that in the same poll Phil Goff dropped to just 7.5% popularity.
    You forgot to mention that National maintains a roughly consistent 20% lead.
    You forgot to mention that no one was polled about modern surgical mining under Schedule 4 or mining under Schedule 4 land.

    • The pollsters could have asked people if they supported surgical mining of Great Barrier. A majority may have then agreed to it happening.

      But what happens when everyone realises it is a lie, they had to smash half of the island up to extract the minerals, there is a huge pile of tailings that is contaminating the local water and the locals are terrorised by the continuous sound of heavy trucks.

      You are taking John Key’s and Gerry Brownlee’s statements at face value. I suggest that you should be more careful.

    • Bright Red 3.2

      I think the problem for a lot of you righties is you are so concerntrated on the most popular PM stats because you are in such a state of cringeworthy hero worship of John Key (who has been a failure as a PM and only maintained the polling National already had in 2006 under Brash).

      It’s not the most favoured PM stat that wins elections.

    • bored 3.3


      You fail to notice that 20% translates to a 1 person in 10 advantage….its actually fairly fragile. You lose 10% and you are on evens. Be cocky while you can, it wont last.

  4. Maynard J 4

    None of your three points contradict, in the slightest, the point they are meant to.

    As for your last – that’s like saying you forgot to mention no one was polled if they would prefer miners to wear wet underpants on their head.

    • Smokie 4.1

      Maynard J smokes Fisiani like a piece of fish. Boom!

      [lprent: smoking is as bad as pwned in my opinion. Don’t do it. 🙂 ]

  5. tc 5

    Brownlee has to be one of the larger of the albatrosses this gov’t carts around but for entertainment sake he’s not alone with tolley, smith, bennett etc providing added hilarity.

  6. outofbed 6

    20% lead ?
    nats 53
    lab green 42

    5.5% swing then

  7. Luxated 7

    Since the right seem to keep on wailing about ‘surgical’ mining I did a search. Quite simple, Google search term surgical mining and the first 100 results (I would have done more but they were getting increasingly irrelevant). From those 100 web pages I found five that were relevant and weren’t discussing the rubbish going on in NZ. Of those five two are directly about Nautilus’ mining operations off PNG (both marketing pieces), one effectively discusses it, one other is a case study (read advertising piece) from a software company that thinks they can predict mineral deposit locations the final one is from CSIRO telling us “Imagine it is 2030” and that surgical mining has just become possible.

    Long story short, ‘surgical mining’ doesn’t seem to be a term used in industry. I certainly didn’t see any independent papers (journals not newspapers) using the term. Frankly the existence of such techniques beyond marketing puff seems to be dubious at best.

    Note, several more specialised searches also failed to turn up anything substantial.

  8. Mac1 8

    Every time I read a reference to ‘surgical mining’, my mind is tripped to that other ‘surgical’ monstrosity, that of the Iraq War and ‘surgical strikes’ where the world was meant to believe that the US could so contain the use of its might that surgeons with their scalpels was the only comparison to its use of technology to cause the least harm.

    We know, of course, that most of the US arsenal was still using ‘dumb’ weapons, carpet bombing and badly directed missiles causing massive damage to people and property.

    The same with ‘surgical mining’. Surgical strikes still caused ‘collateral’ damage, (God! the brazen misuse of language), and so too will ‘surgical mining’ with the waste, the leachate, the tailings, the expended chemicals.

    Meanwhile, the world thinks that a new age of controlled exploitation has arrived with ‘surgical mining’, when the reality is still 19th and 20th century ‘dig, root and leave’.

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