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Destroying our heritage

Written By: - Date published: 11:25 am, February 10th, 2010 - 84 comments
Categories: Conservation, john key, national/act government - Tags:

John Key is hell bent on carving up our most pristine National Parks for mining. No matter what.

Image of Kahurangi Park from "govisitnewzealand.com". We presume not for long.

The areas most at risk are Kahurangi and Coromandel (rumour has it that Aspiring is a decoy to soften the blow). Well, these are amazing areas that do not derserve to be destroyed at the whims of a seat warming Prime Minister.

Our pristine conservation areas are the heritage of ALL KIWIS. We are all entitled to have our say on their future. It’s nothing less than immoral for the PM to ignore Kiwis for the sake of wealthy foreign mining interests.

The biggest hypocrisy of all is that John Key is the Minister of Tourism.

You’ve got to wonder. Is this potential incredibly unpopular policy being implemented because “sexy coal” Brownlee is controlling cabinet, or does Key owe someone in the mining industry a favour?

84 comments on “Destroying our heritage ”

  1. Bill 1

    Three words.

    Monkey. Wrench. Gang.

  2. Pat 2

    Cue hysterical nonsense. Got any idea whereabouts in the picture the mine is gonna be? No you don’t. It could be 20km away.

    So I would prefer to see where the actual planned sites are before I make up my mind.

  3. I’d like to see a broad based opposition movement, similar to the anti-tour movement, created to fight against the mining – is there such a thing or can it be built?

    • big bruv 3.1

      Except the majority of Kiwis want to see these minerals mined.

      Plan all you like for a springbok tour like protest (if you remember you lost that election as well) but middle NZ wants the wealth that is in the ground.

      It might annoy a few Greenies, but who really cares.

      • Bright Red 3.1.1

        Big bruv speaks for the all new zealanders?

      • marty mars 3.1.2

        no they don’t – their input isn’t even wanted because the decision has been made – so when they said “it’s just a audit, a stocktake” – they were telling porkies weren’t they and they were telling them to the “majority of kiwis”

        the “majority of kiwis” don’t like porkies i would suggest

      • Fisiani 3.1.3

        Surgical mining in 0.01% of the country will generate billions of dollars so that we dont have to borrow 240 million dollars a week.

        • Macro

          you know that any profits made by mining companies are retained by them and they only pay a pittance of a royalty for the wealth they extract?
          So where is all the money coming from?

        • The Voice of Reason

          How many billions? If we’re borrowing a quarter billion a week as you say, then those billions might see us through winter, hell, maybe even xmas. If it was our billions, that is. It won’t be, it’ll be Rio Tinto’s billions. Or BHP’s or some other multi national mineral thief’s billions.

          It doesn’t just destroy our national parks, it destroys our 100% pure brand. Have you got a projection on what that will cost us?

    • lprent 3.2

      I’m pretty sure that we’d be able to get one running without too much hassle. Start with the tramping clubs and the tourism operators.

      I’d be up for making sure that this particular idiocy does not seriously raise its head ever again (and I don’t bother to protest).

    • 350ppm 3.3

      The Greens are already well underway with a petition on this matter: http://www.greens.org.nz/conservation/mining

  4. Michael Foxglove 4

    It’s hard to judge mm without trying it. My gut feeling however is that there would be enormous support across the country for a broad opposition movement.

  5. Roflcopter 5

    Please also show photos of the additional land that will be allocated as protected, to offset the mining area.

    • Michael Foxglove 5.1

      You can’t offset unique and precious areas of natural heritage!

    • Macro 5.2

      This has all been gone over before! that’s why the land that is set aside now is set aside! Any new “offet” land will NOT have the same conservation quality.

  6. Red Rosa 6

    The new ‘Minister of Conservation’ looks set to be the ‘Minister of Destruction’ .

    Her incompetence was well demonstrated in the ‘Folic Fiasco’, but her anti-conservation attitude, largely dictated by Federated Farmers, is well known. She has been promoted Minister essentially to further the National Party mining and exploitation agenda.

    Competence in the portfolio is however not required. In fact, incompetence and following orders blindly are what this government require of this Minister. They look set to get it. .

    Make no mistake, she is out to gut the Department of Conservation, by demoralizing its staff and reducing its advocacy budget. And she will certainly not be going in to bat against Brownlie and his mining proposals.

  7. tc 7

    Oh BBruv nice trolling….as someone’s who’s worked in mining the damage is widespread and decades in effect, it happens in Oz’s deserts so there’s no environmental issues…..tailings dams/roads/machinery/blasting/overburden/workers housing/family accomodation and services etc etc

    100% relentless focus on ripping the guts out of our tourism edge in our single term…..like supercity they’ll try and slam it through before 2011…..wonder what baubles ACT/MP will take to participate.

    • Edosan 7.1

      They don’t need MP, I’m sure ACT will find ripping up all of that unproductive indigenous forest as baubles enough.

      Anti-spam: HARM.

  8. randal 8

    they think they are some sort of tough guy rugged individualists when all they are are suited up jackanapes stealing off the people.

  9. Actually hes not hell bent on craving upo this country for mining.

    This faux news type journalism doesnt help your cause.

    Beleive me the areas to be mined won’t be the ones that the greens will be posting pictures of.

    Heck GE, Climate Change, Mining.

    Has the greens ever had a policy that wasnt based on fear?

    • felix 9.1

      Actually he is.

      I know because I found a leaflet with his name on it at the lake this summer. Scrawled on the back were the words “I’m gonna fill you with tailings and raw sewerage you big wet lakey bastard!”

      I went to the address on the leaflet but it was just a shoe shop. Probably up to something though.

    • Macro 9.2

      and where are they to deal with the ore from the new mines on the Coromandel? Obviously Waihi. And have you considered how they might transport that ore to Waihi? – By truck – hundreds of them through a small gorge used by thousands of tourists – visiting the old mining sites. No they wont – not when it becomes a death trap to get to them. Brilliant!

      Has National EVER had a policy?

  10. Felix:

    The politics of fear doesnt work, the right wing repugs found that out in 2008 in the USA, maybe the left in New Zealand will found this out also, before they lose all credibility.

    • felix 10.1

      And what did the right-wing repugs find out in 2008 about their “dig it all up” approach to natural resources?

  11. Where has John Key stated that he intends to tear-up our National Parks?

    • felix 11.1

      In his speech yesterday.

      More readie-readie, less typie-typie.

      • kiwiteen123 11.1.1

        Point me to the sentence.

      • kiwiteen123 11.1.2

        This is all John Key said about mining:

        Mining in New Zealand uses just 40 square kilometres of land, less than 0.015 percent of our total land area. The export value of that land however is $175,000 per hectare, which makes mining an extremely valuable use of land.

        The Government will shortly be releasing a discussion document for public consultation on potential changes to Schedule 4 of the Crown Minerals Act. Schedule 4 is the part of the Crown Minerals Act which prohibits mining or prospecting on specified areas of Crown land.

        The discussion document will recommend that some areas of Crown land be removed from Schedule 4 and in addition that some areas currently not in Schedule 4 be added to it.

        Notwithstanding the public consultation process, it is my expectation that the Government will act on at least some of these recommendations and make significant changes to Schedule 4. This is because new mining on Crown land has the potential to increase economic growth and create jobs.

        I know some people have expressed concern about increased mining but I can assure New Zealanders that any new mines on conservation land will have to meet strict environmental tests.

        Moreover, the Government is also proposing to establish a new Conservation Fund, potentially drawing on royalty revenue from mining operations on Crown land. The Conservation Fund would resource special conservation projects around the country. That means that if there is an increase in mining activity, New Zealand’s natural environment would also be improved.

        That’s it.
        He said that the discussion document will add some areas to schedule 4 and remove some areas from schedule 4.
        Where does he say that he will “tear-up” National parks?
        You just lied.

        • Draco T Bastard

          Notwithstanding the public consultation process, it is my expectation that the Government will act on at least some of these recommendations and make significant changes to Schedule 4.

          I think you need to learn to read.

          • kiwiteen123

            A) ‘expected’
            B) making changes to schedule 4 does not mean that they will “tear up” National Parks.
            I suggest you learn to understand what people say.

            • felix

              I don’t think you’re discussing this in good faith.

              In relation to mining, he said he expects to remove some land from schedule 4.

              Nothing you’ve said makes sense unless you think he has some other plan for this land than to exploit its mineral resources. Do you?

              If you don’t actually advocate some sort of position it’s very difficult to take you seriously as it appears you just want to disagree with people against all rationality and reason.

              • @Felix.
                Ok, you said that Key said that he would “tear-up” the National Parks. He did not.
                I do not think that he necessarily has another plan for these Schedule 4 lands but it is not certain that they will.
                Your comments are not rational or reasonable.

              • felix

                Oh I see. You’re talking about the exact phrasing he used rather than what the words mean

                Like if I were to get up from my chair and announce “I’m going to boil the kettle. Who wants a cup of tea?”

                3 people respond “yes please” (polite friends, you see).

                When I emerge from the kitchen holding a wet misshapen lump of melted plastic and my friends enquire as to the whereabouts of the aforementioned tasty beverages I reply “I don’t know what you’re talking about”

                “But you said you were making tea you fucker” they protest, their good manners waning fast.

                “Nonsense, I never said any such thing” I snort. “Mind if I turn the telly over?”

                Of course you’re right. Key never said he would tear up the national parks and I never said I would make anyone a cup of tea. And anyone who thought otherwise just doesn’t understand the language.

              • Bad story. You’re not a good story-teller.
                So you just admitted that you lied!

              • felix

                Nonsense. Show me the exact words where I said “I lied”.

                See how stupid that approach to discussion is, kt?

              • @Felix 9:34.
                Key saying that they are considering making land available to mine. Does not mean they will actually mine. It doesn’t mean that he said they would ‘tear-up’ National Parks.
                You said:
                “Of course you’re right. Key never said he would tear up the national parks”
                When I asked when Key said that he would ‘tear-up’ our National parks you said:
                “In his speech yesterday.”
                You have now said that he never said such a thing.
                You lied.

              • i can smell your fear

              • @the sprout Fear of what?

            • The Voice of Reason

              “I suggest you learn to understand what people say.”

              I kinda think that’s what Draco is hoping you’ll do one day, bud.

              I’m not too worried about what the Nats say, it’s what they intend to do that’s the problem. And until yesterday, the say and the do were two different things anyway.

              I appreciate that you are touchingly naive, but mining does literally mean tearing up the earth. If that earth is in a National Park, then quite literally, it will be torn up.

              • The simple fact of the matter is that Key did not say “We will tear-up National Parks”.
                Felix said he did.
                He did not.
                Felix lied.

                I also wish to point out that they are adding areas to schedule 4.

              • the sprout

                You don’t handle the heat very well do you kiwiteen?
                Try to get used to it though, it’s going to be a painful ride to the gutter for your administration. Amateur.

              • @the sprout
                I’m fine under pressure.
                Felix pressured me. I stuck to my guns. I proved him wrong.
                How does this show I don’t respond well to pressure?

              • @the sprout
                We can all use youtube.

              • felix

                Hi sprout! Where you bean?

                I see you’ve met kt. Isn’t s/he a treasure?

              • BLiP

                s/he/it – or just shit for short.

              • felix

                Indeed BLiP. Shit reminds me of those annoying spoilt children I sometimes meet at family events. Sometimes when their parents aren’t looking they run by too close and trip over my foot, poor wee things.

              • the sprout

                Hi Felix
                Been underground, but nice to be back.
                Yes I remember KT, fake age, false conciousness, all the fervour of a paid amateur who still believes in his employer.
                You have to pity him really.
                Now his opponents can smell blood, things are going to get like he’s never thought they could

              • @All
                I thank you, felix, for your compliment. 🙂
                I presume I can know call BLiP “shit” because presumably BLiP is a s/he/it.
                Poor things getting to close to you, Felix.
                the sprout:
                I am a teenager.
                I look forward to these attacks. You see, it does not matter to me. I enjoy it.
                Good to have a genius like you back.

            • Macro

              “Making significant changes” – is political speak for “tearing up”
              And they will be torn up. A road becomes a physical ecological barrier no matter how “sensitively” it is made. Hundreds of trucks traveling up and down it carrying ore are not “surgical” either.

              • They would not be hundreds of trucks.

              • Macro

                Oh! there won’t be hundreds of trucks?
                Tell me then – how will they transport the mined ore to Waihi or where ever?
                How will they transport the miners? – supplies in and out? – how will they get rid of the overburden? or the other rock waste from the mine? How will they supply the energy needed?

              • I did not say will not. ‘would’ is conditional. 😛
                You’re probably right. I’m probably wrong. (for this comment only)

  12. greg 12

    felix, you did kinda make that bit up

  13. The Voice of Reason 13

    KT, your literalism is blinding you. Key may not have ‘said’ National Parks will be torn up. It’s far worse than merely saying it. He intends to do it.

    And yes, maybe not ‘hundreds of trucks’ but many, many trucks hundreds of times. Same damage.

    If you really want to mount an argument, skip the pedantry. You might still lose, but at least you won’t be laughed at. Do they have a debating team at your school? If so, give it a crack, it’s really helpful for learning the techniques for articulate advocacy of a position.

    • Funnily enough I’m the captain of my debating team :).
      Key may intend to mine National Parks but felix said that Key said he would.
      He did not.
      You have admitted that.
      I have proven that.
      Your argument is very weak.

      • The Voice of Reason 13.1.1

        Well, that probably doesn’t bode well for your alma mater’s medal prospects, KT but the best of british to you.

        Read my comment again. Second word, second sentence. ‘May’. I conceded nothing regarding Felix’s position, Maybe wrong, maybe right. Not my point. I was saying that the question is actually what these dullards intend to do.

        The trucks is a zero some equation. Whether it was well phrased or not, the fact remains; hundreds of journeys through the town and surrounds.

        Anyway, gotta go. Watching Twin Peaks. You’d like it. Amongst other things, it’s about a smiling salesman, the death of an innocent and the damage deception, lies and arrogance can bring on a community.

      • wtl 13.1.2

        Actually, many of your arguments are VERY weak and based on pedantry, as many of us can see. Going over and over about the actual words used is pointless. The same thing happened in a previous debate (I can’t remember on what). Sure Key didn’t say “We are going to mine national parks”, but:

        1) Schedule 4 forbids mining from certain areas within national parks
        2) Key said that Schedule 4 would be changed.
        3) The most likely reason for changing Schedule 4 is to allow mining in these national parks.

        Therefore, most people would agree that “it is my expectation that the Government will act on at least some of these recommendations and make significant changes to Schedule 4” strongly implies that the Government intends to open up national parks for mining. (Whether they will be “torn up” is another argument, but I’m sure many will agree that mining does result in significant environmental damage.)

        In the end of the day, people will (obviously) not always say EXACTLY what they mean or what their intentions are, especially if politicians are involved and the topic is not very palatable. Therefore, it is reasonable to read between the lines and decide what someone means/intends even if they did not say it directly. Which is what felix and others were doing. And starting pedantic arguments about Key’s actual words… well, just looks dumb.

        You may be naive enough to think you’ve won the argument, but in most people’s mind you haven’t, and are instead just making a fool of yourself. Especially when you go ahead and self-congratulate. Childish, at best.

        • kiwiteen123

          I think they will mine some National Parks. I never said otherwise.
          Felix said that Key had said in his speech on tuesday that he would “tear-up” our National Parks.
          Mr. Key said no such thing. Felix lies.

  14. BLiP 14

    One need only consider the actions of the John Key led National Ltdâ„¢ on the environmental front to catch a glimpse of what’s in store. Since November 2008, John Key has watched as his government:

    – has been caught out repeatedly lying in the run up to and during the election campaign about its real intentions in relation to the environment

    – celebrated the opening of the foreign-owned Pike River Coal Ltd mine on DOC land adjacent to the Paparoa National Park from which 1 megatonne of coal will be extracted per year for the next 20 years Pike River Coal Ltd has announced that it has found additional coal in the national park

    – removed a proposed efficiency standard (MEPS) on incandescent lightbulbs

    – reversed a moratorium on building new gas/oil/coal power stations

    – removed the bio fuel subsidy

    – scrapped the scheme that would have penalised imported vehicles producing high emissions

    – removed regulations for water efficient new housing

    – renewed leases on sensitive high country farms which were meant to return to DOC

    – reversed restrictions on the freeholding of vast swathes of land on the edge of the Southern Lakes

    – arbitrarily excised 400 hectares from the brand new Oteake Conservation Park, including the most important and, ecologically, the rarest part of the new Park, the tussock and shrubland that went right down to the banks of the Manuherikia River, to enable future access to lignite

    – said nothing to say in regard to the World Commission on Protected areas of IUCN’s severe criticism of its intention to investigate mineral resources and mining opportunities in protected conservation areas including our three UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Te Wahi Pounamu-South West New Zealand, Tongariro National Park and the Sub Antarctic Islands

    – approved two prospecting permit applications lodged by Australian iron-ore giant Fortescue Metals Group subsidiary FMG Pacific lodged in June – areas covered by the two-year permits include an 8204-square-kilometre area of seabed adjoining the west coast from Cape Reinga to the Manukau Harbour and a 3798-square-kilometre prospecting area of land from Cape Reinga to the Kaipara Harbour including Ninety Mile Beach, the west side of the Aupouri Peninsula, Kaitaia and the Hokianga.

    – approved an additional prospecting permit for Fortesque Metals in relation to 3568sq km right next door to the Kahurangi National Park where the Heaphy Track is

    – was forced to release its Ministry of Economic Development (MED) report under the Official Information Act that proclaims “significant mineral potential” in the Fiordland, Kahurangi and Paparoa national parks the report said the Waitutu area of the Fiordland National Park had sufficient petroleum reserves to be “worthy” of inclusion in a review of conservation land protected from mining

    – secretly granted the minerals industry the right to veto proposed National Park boundaries and permission for any such vetoes to be kept confidential in spite of recommendations from its own officials against any such a veto

    – Minster of Conservation Tim Grosser, on 29 August 2009, called for caring New Zealanders to halt their “emotional hysteria” and recognise that conservation land should be mined for minerals and went on to say “Mining in a modern, technological way can have a negligible effect”

    – Associate Minister of Conservation Kate Wilkinson, in an interview in “Canterbury Farming” rubbished her own department, DOC, suggesting it was incapable of looking after the high country reserves and parks under its control

    – gutted the home insulation scheme

    – pulled $300 million out of public transport, walking and cycling schemes and added it to a pot of $2 billion to ‘upgrade’ state highways

    – changed the law to provide billions of dollar in subsidies for polluters via the ETS casino which is now a target for scamming by international criminals

    – begun a process of gutting the Resource Management Act to make it difficult/impossible for the public to lodge appeals against developers

    – removed the ability of Auckland to introduce a fuel levy to fund planned public transport upgrades

    – left electrification of the national rail network up in the air without promised funding commitments

    – removed the Ministry for the Environment’s programme to make Government Departments ‘carbon neutral’

    – removed funding for public tv advertising on sustainability and energy efficiency

    – pulled funding for small-town public litter bin recycling schemes

    – cabinet ministers expressing public support the bulldozing of Fiordland

    – reduced Department of Conservation funding by about $50 million over three years

    – cancelled funding for the internationally acclaimed ‘Enviroschools’ programme

    – usurped the democratic role of local Councils of determining policies for their citizens by requiring the abandonment of the efficient and well-established tree protection rules for urban areas

    – set about revamping Auckland governance in a way that is likely to greatly reduce the ‘Environmental Watchdog’ role of the the current Regional Council

    – removed Auckland’s metropolitan limits and opened the gateway for unfettered urban sprawl

    – defended internationally the importation of rain-forest-wrecking palm kernel and stood silent while Federated Farmers called Greenpeace “terrorists’

    – stood silent while Godfrey Bloom, a Member of the European Parliament and infamous Climate Change Denialist, publicly rejoiced in the 1985 bombing of the Greenpeace Rainbow Warrior who was doing so while standing on a dock next to the replacement vessel

    – took a 0% emissions reduction target to Copenhagen. Yes, seriously, that isn’t a misprint that was the lower bound of their negotiation platform – then missed the 01/02/10 deadline for commitment to action it had agreed to – meanwhile 55 of the 80 countries which attended did make the deadline

    – secretly cancelled the internationally recognised scheme for the mandatory labelling of exotic woods to ensure the timber has not been taken from rain forests in direct contradiction of its own statements made at the 13th World Forestry Congress in Argentina

    – supported the Department of Conservation’s decision to open up the pristine Cathedral Cove to an ice-cream franchise

    – taken no action to reduce existing pollution pouring into the Manawatu River and is “leaving it up to industry’ to come up with solutions to heal the river which was described by the Cawthorn Institute as “one of the worst polluted in the Western world’

    – announced a $1.1 million industry subsidy to kick start marine farming without identifying no-go areas nor putting in place a consultation process for individuals, communities, and other general coastal users

    – blamed New Zealanders after a Japanese whaling ship deliberately smashed into a smaller, more vulnerable craft in the open sea

    – was forced to release documents under the Official Information Act which confirm that DOC has “giving up’ on ecologically valuable high-country land in the Mackenzie Basin because of funding cuts. The released documents cite “statements made by ministers”, “diminishing funding” and the Government’s new high-country policies as reasons for the changed stance the comments from DOC were made after Land Information New Zealand (Linz), which manages the tenure review process, ignored DOC’s previous conservation recommendations for the farms

    It would appear that his “do nothing” public performance has masked the cunning setting of an ambush for his foreign mates to rape te whenua. And what have the maori party had to say about it all – kore!!

    • marty mars 14.1

      thanks for that BLiP – hope you don’t mind but i’ve posted it 🙂


    • Pat Magill 14.2

      Yes John is a tricky Johnny (dickey)
      From my perspective as a very concerned voluntary social activist, John has hosted 2 conferences in Wellington in association with the Maori Party John invited the expertise from the hardest most effective early intervention people in NZ. Yet when the chips are down John endorses his legislation from the kaupapa of the Act Party.The Sensible Sentencing Trust, and Judith Collins. Political deceipt at its worst. Aotearoa is still supportive of retribute justice as per USA. No votes in emulating the caring skin built into the Scandanavian nations, concern for all people.
      You can publish my name. I am a Community Justice Of the Peace (born in Napier 29.9.1926.

      [lprent: We just leave in the name you give. ]

    • Robyn Clayton 14.3

      Just shows that Labour, the Greens and the media must be agreeing with what National are doing. Instead of being vocal on shares that John Key holds – get grumpy about things that matter

  15. gingercrush 15

    Lets say National gets two terms. By that time they have 2 or 3 mining operations going and 2-5 on their way. I guarantee you when Labour gets back in power they’ll keep it going.

    • lprent 15.1

      Because the litigation involved in kicking them out or changing the conditions will be too high.

      However, you can expect that they’d shut-down any further mining or prospecting that doesn’t help NZ long-term. That means long-term retention of profit in NZ and/or significant long-term employment compared to alternate uses like tourism. This is a long-term Labour ‘policy’.

      None of the existing proposals apart from the offshore basin exploration fit those criteria. They all look like get-rich propositions for people outside of NZ and a way to get unsustainable medium-term tax for the government. I’d anticipate that there will be a fast axing of whatever National puts in place that can be axed.

      Of course if you can show that these projects do fit the general criteria? But you notice that information never gets released to the public.

    • Armchair Critic 15.2

      “I guarantee you when Labour gets back in power they’ll keep it going.”
      The land can’t be un-mined. And post-mining restoration is like getting convicted criminals to pay reparations, it can never make up for the original wrongdoing.
      You and LP are both probably correct with a “Labour wouldn’t stop any mining National starts” hypothesis. I agree. But that doesn’t mean it is okay to start it in the first place. Nor is it any justification for starting mining.

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