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Brownlee lying over mining on conservation land

Written By: - Date published: 2:54 pm, February 17th, 2010 - 24 comments
Categories: Environment, Mining, national - Tags:

According to The Press, Energy Minister Gerry Brownlee is denying he trimmed a South Island conservation park after being lobbied by mining company L&M. However, documents posted on The Standard and No Right Turn show he was lying.

The article in the The Press states:

The Oteake Conservation Park, set up last year, was to have included a 200-hectare Crown-owned block in the upper Manukerikia Valley, but the area was kept out of the park, as requested by Christchurch-based coal company L and M Mining.

The area overlies the Hawkdun lignite coal deposit, one of 10 lignite deposits in Otago-Southland.

Brownlee was adamant there was no pressure from L&M:

“We had no representations from L and M Mining. I want to make that very, very clear. There was, however, a proposal to place … 70,000ha into the Oteake Conservation Park. We made the decision to keep 200ha out on the basis that it may have significant mineral deposits, mainly lignite.”

The document posted on The Standard however shows very clearly that Brownlee knew about L&M’s interest in the area. The company already had a prospecting permit, and we know from the official advice that Brownlee talked the issue over with then Conservation Minister Tim Groser.

Idiot/Savant at No Right Turn had found related official documents last year which add to the story. He follows up today and provides further evidence that Brownlee was simply lying:

Brownlee is lying. Here’s a copy of L&M’s submission to DoC on the park boundaries [PDF]. And here’s the notes by DoC staff of their verbal submission to the hearing [PDF]. As can be seen, they were very keen on getting the park boundaries shifted so it wouldn’t interfere with their future plans for mining and a coal-to-liquids plant. Crown Minerals also made a submission, which lobbied on their behalf. DoC briefings on the topic (29 August 2008 [PDF], 3 December 2008 [PDF]) were very clear that the pressure to shift the boundaries came from L&M (they were also very clear on the conservation value of the area in question). L&M very definitely did make representations – but these were unsuccessful until National came to power.

Following National’s rise to power, Brownlee immediately listened to L&M’s lobbying and excluded land it wanted to mine from protection. L&M is now set to mine that land. Brownlee has some very serious questions to answer, and his credibility is on the line.

24 comments on “Brownlee lying over mining on conservation land”

  1. DeeDub 1

    How the hell can he get away with such a blatant and outright lie?

    SURELY the MSM will roast his sacks on this one????

    SURELY?

    Captcha: ADMITTED

  2. tc 3

    The only credibility that will be on the line is his ability to hold a straight (if somewhat fat) face……100% relentless focus on selling out.

    A nice comfy seat on a few boards awaits Gerry…….large and with extra stabilising bars.

  3. tc 4

    yes clarke in the corpratocracy world of NACT all ministers must have credibility on at least the following areas:
    keeping a straight face whilst lying, agreeing with the PM, Liking the PM, being nice to the MP, patronising a demographic minority , informing the PM of all good photo opp’s and of course staying away from parliament when responses required in question time.

  4. Brett 5

    Couldn’t help but notice that the date on the form is 8th July 2008.
    Was this passed under Labour?

  5. ghostwhowalksnz 6

    No representations from L $ M Mining ?

    Of course not. They had lobbyists to do that ( ie professionals who fronted up ) but it was clear who they represented.
    This is how its done

  6. Hey Guys,

    I am a Act voter, I am so surprised and disgusted at how our National Government has performed. I don’t like to judge but would have thought our media could really do allot better.

    Makes me so sick.

  7. good work – the camel’s back is broken – resign brownlee

  8. Fisiani 9

    Big call to say he is a liar. If so he is out. Goneburger.
    If not……….he is telling the truth. So then this is just another rant..

    • The Voice of Reason 9.1

      Probably pay to read the links in the post, Fisiana. Liar it is. However, Key’s standard on lies is straightforward. Lie to me, you’re gone. Lie to the public, sweet as.

  9. Hmmm this is not too difficult.

    Brownlee said

    We had no representations from L and M Mining. I want to make that very, very clear.

    IS (who I trust) says

    DoC briefings on the topic (29 August 2008 [PDF], 3 December 2008 [PDF]) were very clear that the pressure to shift the boundaries came from L&M (they were also very clear on the conservation value of the area in question). L&M very definitely did make representations but these were unsuccessful until National came to power.

    Someone is telling porkies. Guess who?

  10. Fisiani 11

    Read the links. Still think it is a big call to say liar. Lying in parliament is a big deal. Last time it happened was from memory 2008. That particular member and his party are no longer in Parliament

    • gobsmacked 11.1

      Last time it happened was yesterday. “I always agree with the Prime Minister” – Tariana Turia.

      Key has done it numerous times – on the cycleway, for one (check the record – hat-tip, Idiot/Savant). And yes, I do mean lying – not “mistaken”.

      • Armchair Critic 11.1.1

        Key managed to lie twice in seven words yesterday, when he said “I have been busy…” – that’s one lie “…running the country.” – that’s another.

    • Armchair Critic 11.2

      Speaking of liars, fisiani – are you gonna come up with anything to show that there are 82 mines on DOC land operating 24 hours a day seven days a week? A number of commenters have called for you to back your questionable assertions up and you haven’t produced a thing.

    • This isn’t a lie to parliament (yet) – its a lie to the press. Though under Labour that was enough to sack a Minister.

  11. gobsmacked 12

    I see that Gerry Brownlee’s Press Secretary is now back at TV3. Stephen Parker has gone from TV3 to the Beehive back to TV3, in a matter of months.

    The revolving door has been spinning fast. The other TV3 political reporter, Scott Campbell, is now working for John Banks. But of course, there’s no media bias, no sirree.

  12. Scribe 13

    If you were going to build a house, and then I came and lobbied you to build a house, and then you built the house, could the media say I pressured you into building a house?

    • Macro 13.1

      Your point is????
      The question is: “Who has been telling porkies?”
      And we all know who it is!

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