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 â€˜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.