John Key’s discussion document is out and is proposing slice more than 7000ha out of our most precious conservation lands. Forest and Bird’s information was right. It includes: Coromandel, Paparoa National Park, Great Barrier Island. With Northland and Stewart Island on the wish-list too!
According to Stuff:
The Government is proposing opening up more than 7000 hectares of conservation land to mining.
The land includes some areas in the Coromandel Peninsula, and the Inangahua sector of Paparoa National Park.
The proposal has just been released by Energy and Resources Minister Gerry Brownlee and Conservation Minister Kate Wilkinson.
Mr Brownlee said 7058ha of land presently in Schedule 4 of the Crown Minerals Act could be opened to mining, and he has floated the proposal in a discussion document.
Land in Schedule 4 is usually deemed to be of high conservation value and, at this stage, cannot be mined.
Mr Brownlee said 7058ha was just 0.2% of Schedule 4 land.
“This is nothing like the vast tracts of land suggested to date by the environmental lobby.”
He said only 5% of the land being considered could actually be mined – as little as 500ha. That was smaller than the average New Zealand sheep and beef farm.
Mr Key, you’re in for a fight.
Update: Link to the report is here. Have a read and post your thoughts below. I suspect Mr Key doesn’t realise how many Kiwis he’s infuriating by bulldozing National Parks for profit.
Update 2: I thought Greenpeace’s reaction was worth noting. Mr Key is taking us back in time with his approach to environmental destruction:
Greenpeace: ‘Mining pristine conservation lands is exactly the backwards thinking that must change if New Zealand is to have any chance of prosperity in the future,’ ‘Economic development that takes no account of the impact on our environment, our overseas reputation and the global economy’s response to climate change is economic suicide. We have to stop stealing from the future as if we have learnt nothing from our past.
‘New Zealand needs the Government to offer an economic vision for the 21st century that plays to the strength of our clean and green reputation and meets the challenge of climate change through clean development