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Govt to open National Parks for mining

Written By: - Date published: 3:02 pm, March 22nd, 2010 - 117 comments
Categories: Conservation, Environment, Mining - Tags:

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

117 comments on “Govt to open National Parks for mining ”

  1. Tigger 1

    Yes, by all means blind us with your tiny percentages, Gerry. 0.2% sounds small, of course, but location is everything. If Godzilla decides to destroy 0.2% of Wellington is doesn’t sound like much. But if Godzilla chooses a certain 0.2% (certain buildings, tunnels, roads etc) then he can impact serious harm.

    • IrishBill 1.1

      I’d pay good money to see that.

      • Zaphod Beeblebrox 1.1.1

        Perhaps he/she (don’t think it has a sex) could an interview discussing how he/she will be surgical in the destruction. Then Godzilla will clean up all the mess better than before.

    • Salsy 1.2

      Dont forget about the mess that is made as Godzilla clambers in and out of wellington to do his destruction.. 100x more I suspect.

      • Marty G 1.2.1

        and don’t forget the pools of toxic tailings godzilla leaves behind once he has extracted the valuable minerals.

        • Winston Smith

          you’re a mincing dog whistler Marty…. [deleted more abuse in the same vein]

          [lprent: Banned for 8 weeks. That was straight abuse of a author without a substantive point. You seldom offer anything of interest to the debate, which is why you’re in permanent moderation. I’m tired of releasing your comments. So you can get out of my sight for a while. I have a strong feeling that I should simply feed you to the spam queue, but I’m feeling charitable today. ]

    • calltoaccount 1.3

      Wasn’t hard to find a doc to contradict Gerry’s stats.

      From the maps quoted by stuff.co.nz, the Paparoa land to be moved out of section 4 is 8% of the National Park. Here’s the link, and the ref is down the bottom. It mentions the target is coal, which would appeal to Gerry Browncoal I guess.

      We’ll be going doorknocking to see what the public thinks of this, results on our website, here’s us.

  2. vidiot 2

    Trading 7000 hectares for 12000 hectares of land, sounds like a good deal for NZ.

    Mineral wealth, here we come.

    captcha: whatever – rofl !

    • Smokie 2.1

      Proposing to put in 12000 hectares that was to automatically go in the next update of schedule 4 is a shit trade-off.

      If John Key doesn’t grow a spine and stand up to Brownlee on this, like Michael said, he’s in for a rocky rocky ride to the polls.

    • Marty G 2.2

      specific land is put in schedule 4 for a reason.

      • Marty G 2.2.1

        and I should note that no new land is being added to the conservation estate by national. they’re just moving some areas of existing conservation land into schedule 4

  3. TightyRighty 3

    fascinating. mining grew constantly under the last labour government, both output (more mining) and value (better mining). amazing to see that exploration spending in New Zealand has grown from under $5 million in 2000 to just under $35 million in 2008. and that the value of these operations has grown from under $1 billion at the same point to almost bang on $2 billion in 2008. labour were onto a winner with that kind of growth track. interesting to see what they say about 500 ha being opened up to help maintain this growth. and i wonder how much land they approved for mining between 1999-2008, especially on the conservation land on the west coast that helped spark the 4 fold jump in spending on coal exploration?

    • So what is it TR

      Either us (Labour) added insane amounts of land to the conservation estate or we developed opencast mining of all of the most beautiful spots.

      Which is it?

      Are you trying to debate or just spinning attack lines?

  4. Peter Johns 4

    Bring it on. We need to manufacture tangibles to ensure we stay a first world nation.
    Greenies, go to Tasmania, you will be more welcome there.

    • Smokie 4.1

      I’m sure your kids will appreciate that Peter Johns, when the last tree in Fiordland is cut down for a big fuck-off opencast mine.

      This is quite simply environmental madness.

      • TightyRighty 4.1.1

        lets all get started with the absurd exaggerations. that will make people listen you.

        • Smokie

          It’s the logical conclusion of the “we need more mineral wealth” argument. What would you do if there was a gold nugget under the last tree?

          • TightyRighty

            probably not worry about it. if it was a chicken nugget on the other hand. timber!!!

          • Bored

            Dont bother with those trolls Smokie, they dont give a f**k, which is bloody amusing considering those sad sacks are likely to end up with f**k all from the whole trade off. So as PJ says “bring it on”, lets show the bastards the real cost of pissing us “greeny” types off.

        • mickysavage

          Like Labour put most of the country into conservation estate while at the same time opening up many opencast mines?

    • … we need to manufacture pretend tangibles to help big international mining corps make more money and profit – yay – what a hero you are pj

  5. Jared 5


  6. Bill 6

    From the press release up on ‘Scoop’

    1. New Zealand is mineral rich and the environmentally responsible development of this potential is a very real possibility;

    2. Much of the country’s mineral potential is concentrated, often in public conservation areas with high conservation and cultural values;

    3. The mineral potential of Schedule Four lands could be developed with only a very small proportion of the land being directly impacted; and

    4. Information on New Zealand’s mineral potential is limited and Government has a role to improve our knowledge of the mineral estate.

    So, NZ is “mineral rich” and “much of the mineral potential is concentrated in public conservation areas” and “information on NZs mineral potential is limited.”

    If the fourth bullet point contains any truth, then bullet points one and two are gobshite.

    Wouldn’t be that public land = cheaper to mine that private land?

    Regardless, it seems I am to believe that if the penis is only partially inserted then rape does not occur. Further, by utilisation of a condom, the (non) victim will have no physical evidence with which to construct a non-crime scenario from.

    It’s something along those lines we’re meant to think, isn’t it? I’m getting tumbling thoughts of cigars and non-sex and extraction and non-mining…

    Oh well, under threat of disappointing the expectations that government ministers might have of the likes of me, I’d just like to express on this blog….merely as starters and with the full understanding that what follows is of no real consequence in isolation or without escalation… that NO fucking mining on schedule 4 land MEANS NO fucking mining!

    Simple, innit?

    • Smokie 6.1

      Good call Bill.

      Maybe someone should ask Key how Brownlee knows we’re so rich, when he says the information is so limited.

      • Bill 6.1.1

        Can you hear our msm going down that simple and obvious path of questioning or is it the rustle of tumble weed blowing down the deserted track where long forgotten basics of critical enquiry used to tread?

    • The Baron 6.2

      “We acknowledge mining is an emotive issue but we hope a rational conversation can now take place about the potential for utilising more of the country’s valuable natural resources for the greater good.”

      So much for that rational conversation then.

      • Bill 6.2.1

        You either rip it up or you conserve it. You cannot do both. Where does the irrationality lie? In the belief that both are somehow possible perhaps? Hmm?

      • felix 6.2.2

        Get out of our conservation land and we’ll have a rational conversation about where you can mine. It’s been put in schedule 4 for bloody good reasons, to protect it from this very proposal. Do you get it?


        Get that through your thick skull and then we can talk.

  7. Yogster 7

    LOL 0.2% – whats the big fuss?

    Here is a question for the lefties – at what price would you be willing to ‘accept’ this level of mining? 10bn increase in GDP, 100bn increase in GDP, 1 trillion…….I am just curious whether at any point do economic factors come into play….or is it purely an idealogical argument?

    I suspect that the public just dont care about this issue and are smarter than you think and can see the wider upside to the economy for what is a pretty minor tradeoff in terms of impact on the environment. You will of course convince yourself that it will bring down the Government

    MF: Yogster – As I’ve said many times before, this isn’t about money. These very special areas were set aside so future generations can enjoy them. Why can’t some people see past the dollar bill floating to the multi-national mining companies?

    • Bill 7.1

      You’re mad. The attempt to reduce matters to economics is where the ideology comes in. Or do you believe that first there is the economics and the economics theory and then there is the world and the universe and everything? Either way, you’re mad.

      • Yogster 7.1.1

        Not at all I am at least making the tradeoff

        For a situation were there is a massive economic gain for minimal environmental impact I would support the mining

        If impact on environment moderate or signficant there would be pretty much no ‘price’ that would make me support it

        The question for you is whether there ANY price in which you would supporting mining at the insignificant levels being discussed

        If your answer is No then there only one person in this argument that is solely reducing matters to idealogy. So once again – what price?

        • felix

          If your answer is No then there only one person in this argument that is solely reducing matters to idealogy.

          Bullshit. It’s your ideology that tells you that everything must have a price.

          • Yogster

            The only system in which nothing has a ‘price’ is socialism

            Yet I wonder how much mining the USSR did on environmentally sensitive land?

            • Pascal's bookie

              If you are opposed to chattel slavery, UR R a C8mmun1st!!

              • Yogster

                Well the communists effectively made the whole population ‘slaves’ without freedoms and rights…..:)

              • Pascal's bookie

                maybe they did. Not relevant.

                If you think that if everything has a price, and that to think otherwise is commun1st, you think people have a price. that’s chattel slavery.

                I don’t think you think this BTW, just pointing out a logical error in your comment above. (Felix didn’t say ‘nothing has a price’.)

            • Draco T Bastard

              As the scholars say – communism in the USSR lasted between 30 and 50 days after the 1917 revolution. After that it was repressive state capitalism.

        • Bill

          Where do you get this idea that the mining will be ‘insignificant’?

          Do you think the government would have opened this can of worms to pursue some ‘insignificant’ mining projects?

          The environmental impact could well be moderate or significant…at which point you and I are on the same side, right?

          What is the environmental impact of access infrastructure…both direct and indirect? Or of the extractive processes? And what happens if and when the ‘insignificant’ mining project ‘discovers’ the mother lode? Do you oppose the expansion of the mining on the grounds of now moderate or significant environmental impact? Do you think such opposition would be successful given that infrastructure would already be in place and people dependent upon mining jobs might stand to lose their livelihoods?

          If John and is cronies are given the proverbial inch, they will take the proverbial mile. It’s how they operate.

          • Yogster

            0.2% appears insignficant to me – especially when only a portion of this likely to be mined

            Yes we are on the same side if environmental impact moderate or significant 🙂

            I suspect though our definition of moderate or significant differs

            Glad you implicity agreed in the concept of a ‘price’ – we will have you believing in capitalism and the free market in no time!

            All jokes aside I have enjoying reading this website over the recent weeks (long time lurker first time poster) – i find the different views refreshing and it often causes me to think about things differently

            • Pascal's bookie

              The reason 0.2 percent is significant is because any number greater than zero sets the precedent that being in schedule 4 is no protection from mining. If you grant this, then what reason can you have to refuse more later?

              If being in s4 doesn’t protect this bit, what protects the rest?

              • Yogster

                I would argue democracy protects the rest – it would be a short lived government that promoted the wholesale mining of large tracts of our National Parks

                Just like democracy could torpedo the current proposals. If polls came out showing a clear majority of people against these proposals I have no doubt Key would back down

              • Pascal's bookie

                Democracy protects things through laws. If the protection the laws provide isn’t robust, then the protection is limited.

                I take what you mean about political consequences and such, but it pays to remember that these things are not fixed. If a govt can point to past actions as being legitmate, then future breaches become more palatable.

                For political pressure to bear fruit, the argument, like the legislation, needs to be robust. Just as this will weaken the integrity of the s4 protection, it will also weaken the political arguments against further opening up of the estate. I’m not saying that there wll be wholesale mining in two years if this goes through, but there most definitely be a slow trickle of currently protected land.

                The argument that other land will replace it (not that you are making it), misses the point. The lands are protected not just as hectares of land, but specific pieces of land. They cannot be replaced. If there are other lands that perhaps shuld be protected, hen perhaps they should be protected, but not as a tradeoff for lands that have already been protected.

            • Bill

              I do believe in the market and capitalism!

              Not only that!

              But because I understand the inevitability of their deleterious effects on us as individuals, as communities and as societies; and how they push us to wreck the ecosystems we live within even though we cannot live without them… I believe in the abolition of the market and a future where we can organise our affairs democratically and consign the horrors of market dependent political structures (capitalism, 20thC communism and social democracy) to the past

        • Draco T Bastard

          there is a massive economic gain

          This is your delusion and the one that the RWNJs are trying to sell. There will be no economic gain from the mining except to some foreign mining company and their shareholders. That’s it. Once the stuff is gone, NZ will be poorer.

    • felix 7.2

      The conservation estate is not for mining. Go mine somewhere else.

    • Draco T Bastard 7.3

      There is no price, there is only one option available to us – sustainability. Trying to continue on the way we have been is unsustainable.

      Mining up all the minerals and selling them off won’t make us any better off – it will make us and our children poorer.

  8. Draco T Bastard 8

    We have to stop stealing from the future as if we have learnt nothing from our past.

    Johnkey and national have learned from the past though – they’ve learned that if they exploit and destroy everything then they can get very rich. Why else do you think they’re so keen to take us back there?

  9. freedom 9

    hey yogster, peter johns, tighty, and all the other feudalists who believe they know better,
    i would like to quote Bill

    NO fucking mining on schedule 4 land MEANS NO fucking mining!

    • The Baron 9.1

      Actually, Freedom, I think you’ll find it will end up just like that.

      Thank christ too, we need something to pay for WFF and all the other “essential redistribution” that you lot love so much.

      Can’t have it both ways team – either find some way to pay for your socialism, or give up on it. Despite what Phil Goff appears to think, there is no magic money tree.

      • Draco T Bastard 9.1.1

        Considering that the rich are the reason why we have to have redistribution then tax the rich at high enough rates and the socialism is paid for. Of course, that’s if we continue with the delusional and psychopathic capitalist socio-economic system. There are better ways.

        • The Baron

          Not on the table sorry Draco – will only ever be a wet dream for a minority like you.

          In the mean time, lets focus on things that are actually achievable, huh? Have you got any suggestions on how to make the status quo better, or just more mad ranting about your frankly unpalatable alternatives?

          • felix

            Yeah, how about parasitic unproductive rent seekers like you fuck off to W.A. and mine away to your heart’s content and leave the rest of us to share our resources more equitably.

          • Draco T Bastard

            We need to drop the status quo as it’s unsustainable. We need to move on and the first step to doing so is understanding that the rich have to go. We can’t afford them – this has been proven time and time again as at every recession the rich don’t pay for it, the poor do.

            • Jared

              Start persecuting the higher income individuals and then you increase the likelyhood that they will structure their tax to pay far less. You seem to forget how much of the tax revenue the upper class contribute.

              • Draco T Bastard

                They already do. It should be illegal and they should have everything they have taken off them and be thrown in jail for theft/fraud.

                The rich don’t produce wealth, never have and never will. They way that they get it is through exploitation, theft and deceit.

          • travellerev

            Are you the same baron who comments on the Property talk forum?

      • freedom 9.1.2

        Hey Baron
        in many ways i am looking forward to it. The funny thing is people like you think you will be one of the elite, you will be a slave like the rest of us, or at least your children will be, and by god will i laugh when the banks call in their loans

  10. MikeG 10

    Does the 7000ha include the land the access roads etc will be built over? (Genuine question as the wording of any statement about this is tha the 7000ha is for mining)

  11. freedom 11

    p.s. 0.2% is about all NZ will see of the profits from these mines

    • Draco T Bastard 11.1

      If we’re lucky – more likely we’d be paying for others to get rich from them.

  12. BLiP 12

    I’ve been having a rummage around on various National Ltdâ„¢ sites but can’t seem to find anything in the pre-election material concerning mining in the conservation estate – wonder why.

    • Bill 12.1

      ‘Cause your mining isn’t deep enough, big enough nor wide enough nor in enough places at once?

  13. I don’t know why anyone is surprised about this. When it turned out that Crosby & Textor were John Key’s strategists it should have been abundantly clear that John Key was the Banker/Mining guy who would be expected to open up New Zealand’s National parks for destruction.

    The man behind Crosby and Textor? Robert Champion de Crespigny, AC
    Chairman a Mining giant and non-executive Chairman of the board of Crosby and Textor.

    The same Robert Champion de Crespigny, AC who is a member of the Neocon think tank
    Centre for independent studies in Sidney whose board of directors reads like a who’s who if the Australian/ Pacific mining and banking industry. Oh, and did I mention that Ruth Richardson was a member of the selfsame board?

    They have a special New Zealand policy branch and in fact In 2008, the CIS held a forum in Auckland entitled ‘Big ideas to Super-size New Zealand’s Economy,’ featuring former RBNZ governor Dr Don Brash, New Zealand Institute CEO Dr Andrew Skilling, EPMU general secretary Andrew Little, and CIS policy analyst Phil Rennie.

    This New Zealand policy unit apparently has access to major New Zealand News outlets and writes opinion pieces etc.

    What would be interested is who would be doing the mining. If any of these people have financial interests in the coming destruction of our National parks we would at least know who to address in the pending revolution.

    • Thanks

      The interweb is a wonderful thing!

    • BLiP 13.2

      Yep – no doubt. This exploitation has got Crosby/Textor written all over it. Note how National Ltdâ„¢ and its minions are attempting to frame their side of the the debate as “rational” and brand those opposed as “hysterical”.

      You’ve really got to give it to National Ltdâ„¢’s puppet masters, they really have wedged the public into competing groups: at a national level there’s the GST tax increase and the impact that is going to have on our incomes, we’ve got the workers fighting on the industrial front, Auckland is distracted by the privatisation of democracy, mums and dads have the Chopper Tolley nationalâ„¢ standards issue to keep them busy, the civil rights crowd are still chasing down the latest draconian machinations in that field, the elderly are frightened about their gold cards and the inevitable rise in the entitlement age for the pension, and, as for us greenies, there are so many fronts open now its difficult to choose which to be a part of – save the whales, save the water, save the pigs, save the factory cows, save the seashore, or save the conservation estate.

      And all the while, the smiling assassin sails above it all, insulated from the bad news, wandering around making school girls go weak at the knees while the rest of us get right royally fucked over by failing to observe the common denominator.

  14. Watermelon 14

    It seems that the reasons not to remove these areas from the Scheduled 4 list are themselves listed in the Discussion document itself. It ends up coming across as:

    $$$ = maybe, we are not sure actually, but we hope. Lots of talks about potential and “at todays price”

    Conservation Value = +++ habitat for endangered species, recreational values, water catchment areas.

    Welcome to New Zealand where our national icon, soon to be replaced by a pick and shovel, can only be seen at the Zoo. Oh and don’t worry about all that endemic flora and fauna we also got rid of, they were sitting on top of a gold mine anyway!

    Someone please sack the Prime Minister, he’s clueless.

    • Smokie 14.1

      Watermelon – I would if I could.

      We can sack him at the next election though. Come on New Zealanders, fight for New Zealand!

  15. vto 15

    somehow I suspect this debate will not get past yelling at each other across the pit … …

    just gonna put my earplugs back in … tra la la ….

    • Pascal's bookie 15.1

      You just don’t wanna fight your mates v. 😉

      • Yogster 15.1.1

        In reply to your previous post Pascal


        Cute..but when did i say everything has a price?

        I said almost the complete opposite, in fact i said that at moderate levels of environment impact I personally believe there would be no price

        The point I was trying to make was that if you agree (which you Felix and Bill don’t I assume) that the environment impact is minimal then presumably there a price in which you would accept it?

        I then stated that if there NO price at which you willing to accept minimal impact then your argument came down to pure ideological reasons….(which was the charge laid against me)

        As an aside people do have a price. Lets say you in a hostage situation and the armed man says im going to kill your Mum or your Dad. Which do you choose? In making the choice you assigning a value both outcomes (Mum or Dad being killed) then picking the best outcome. It may not be a financial price but its still a price in the wider sense of the word!

        • freedom

          hey yogster, bad analogy for the situation being that this is NZ.

          For many in Aotearoa the Mum and the Dad are the Sky and the Earth, so rather than paying a ransom, we will be paying to have them killed.

        • Pascal's bookie

          Cute..but when did i say everything has a price?

          For a situation were there is a massive economic gain for minimal environmental impact I would support the mining

          If impact on environment moderate or signficant there would be pretty much no ‘price’ that would make me support it

          Here you are explicitly saying that for you, these lands have a price, for some lands it wold be a very high price. Given that these lands have been deemed those the most worthy of protection, then saying even they should have a price is clearly the more ideological position than saying that these our precious lands should be protected.

          In context, Felix was saying that these most precious lands don’t have a price. They are, like people, things that have been set aside from the price system in order to protect their intrinsic value. He is quite comfortable for other lands to be mined.

          You responded by saying that comm1es didn’t put a price on anything. Which is a very different sort of thing from what Felix said. That misrepresentation of his view was what I was getting at.

          And your hypothetical is likewise bullshit. Things have intrinsic value. Prices do not measure this. They represent some sort of market value. I get that you see this difference with your ‘wider sense’ language, but bringing it up actually only helps to make Felix’s point, in that relying on this misrepresentations of others arguments makes your own positions seem like rhetoric.

          • mickysavage

            In context, Felix was saying that these most precious lands don’t have a price. They are, like people, things that have been set aside from the price system in order to protect their intrinsic value. He is quite comfortable for other lands to be mined.

            Beautifully put.

            Capcha “justification”

            How weird is that?

    • Smokie 15.2

      In a way you are right vto. This is quite simply a debate about whether money or the environment is more important. That’s not something each of us change our minds on in a flash.

      I used to be a money-man, but over the years I’ve realised how much more important it is that we start thinking long-term about our environment. Really starts hitting home when you have kids I reckon.

      • Bored 15.2.1

        The really sad thing about it being a money versus environment debate is that the money part is paper / binary digits that may or may not have value, dependant upon the circumstance. Money is an attempt at accounting for the real worth or value of some object / product etc. In itself it has no worth. The environment on the other hand gives rise to all life, and all life depends on it. It has so much inherant value that it transcends money, if we destroy our environment we destroy ourselves (and our money).

        Its not a negotiable, we cant just take a little here and there (especially the bits we put aside and promised ourselves we would not touch). To do so may make us rich for a day or two, but then we all suffer and our children will inherit nothing but a still silent world. Are we that self centred?

        • Draco T Bastard

          Are we that self centred?

          It seems that the political right are. They are, after all, the ones calling for the environment to be totally destroyed so that they can have more of nothing money in the bank.

      • Zorr 15.2.2

        Our environment here in NZ is also the golden goose that keeps on laying. Essentially what National are proposing is to take “our” golden goose and slaughter it for a single meal for a few mates. Incredibly short sighted and, ultimately, nowhere near as profitable in the long term as our more sustainable tourism industry.

        captcha: holidays

        • Draco T Bastard

          Tourism isn’t sustainable either. Tourism depends upon being able to travel cheaply around the world and that will stop with the end of cheap oil.

  16. Adrian 16

    Price and principles are funny things, as in ” Will you sleep ( mine) with me for a million dollars?” ” Yes”. “Great , how about 20 bucks?” ” Of course not, what kind of girl do you think I am?” “We’ve already established that, now we’re just haggling over the price!”

  17. Rob A 17

    Smokie, if you dont stop being sensible you’ll just have to bugger off

  18. Ianmac 18

    If the oil prospectors discovered oil would NZ benefit or would the Oil companies benefit?
    If the mineral prospectors discovered minerals would NZ benefit or would the minining companies benefit?
    Let me see ummm…..
    The simple issue is do we want more mining in the Estate? No.
    Can Gerry persuade us with stats and economics? No
    Simple issue. Leave it alone.

  19. Ianmac 19

    My post disappeared. In short the income from Mining or oil companies is minimal compared to the environment disturbance.
    Do we want it? NO!

  20. Jagilby 20

    Can I just ask why the picture tied to this story is titled “aspiring-mine”?

    Is that a picture of Mt Aspiring national park?

    Is it possible to at least, in the interests of not being accused of drumming up “hysteria”, have a picture of one of the areas that is actually in the proposal?

    I mean anyone who comes to this site is literate enough, presumably, to know that sites of the value of Mt Aspiring are completely off the table and are not even remotely close to what is proposed. At the end of the day no one who comes and read this is going to be close to be classed as a “swing voter”

    So you may as well drop the play on hyperbole and have a picture that is more representative of what the true situation is – having not visited any of the places in the proposal I know that I would really appreciate knowing what the actual state of affairs is behind the bluster from both sides.

    • Pascal's bookie 20.1

      Aspiring was in the initial grab they were looking at. If they say that being in schedule 4 is no protection against mining, what will stop them from putting Aspiring back on the table?

      Nothing, that’s what.

      It’s similar to the bs line about 7000 Hectare, or .2 percent, or postage stamps,, or .01 percent, or whichever piece of word salad Gerry uses in whichever interview you happen to hear.

      If the amount is so small, then the only point in mining it is the principle of weakening s4.

      He was on the wireless trying to justify this by saying that mining gets more gdp per hectare than dairying. Fine, but that’s an argument for converting dairying, or mining some of the other 86 percent of the country that isn’t protected by the only thing protecting Mt Aspiring, s4.

      So why the focus on s4?

    • r0b 20.2

      Is that a picture of Mt Aspiring national park?


      I mean anyone who comes to this site is literate enough, presumably, to know that sites of the value of Mt Aspiring are completely off the table and are not even remotely close to what is proposed.

      That image was made during the “stocktake” phase, before the current specific details emerged. At that point Aspiring was vulnerable – and it still is. Nothing at all is off the table with this lot Jagilby. First they came for the Coromandel…

      Is it possible to at least, in the interests of not being accused of drumming up “hysteria’, have a picture of one of the areas that is actually in the proposal?

      I for one don’t care who accuses me of hysteria on this issue. The image is disturbing? Good. It’s supposed to be. We need to stop it before it happens.

      • jagilby 20.2.1

        “I for one don’t care who accuses me of hysteria on this issue. The image is disturbing? Good. It’s supposed to be. We need to stop it before it happens.”

        Nothing like a good ol’ fashion dog whistle I guess, eh?

        • felix

          No, that’s not what “dogwhistle” means.

          These righties do make me laugh.

  21. freedom 21

    are you suggesting it is ok to mine the aesthetically challenged Schedule 4 land?

    and which parts are those exactly?

  22. freedom 22

    in the herald article it is very confusing
    gerry says ‘194 billion’ but then further down ‘the government says 140 billion’ in mineral reserves.

    i may be wrong but aren’t they different numbers

    captcha: drink

    might just have one i think

  23. felix 23

    I/S reports a good call from Labour.

  24. vto 25

    Great Barrier looks to be the most threatened. 2,500ha on that wee island? That is a big deal. Keen to see the detail.

    Also, it would be worth doing a measure of how much comes into NZ hands, by way of dividends, wages and salary, profit, etc, etc for a sample of foreign-owned mines in NZ at the moment. Could start with say Newmont in Waihi and Oceana at McRaes Flat. That would help to understand the relevance or otherwise of Brownlee’s big $100bn carrot….

    If it transpired that, say, only 0.02% of revenue actually fell into kiwi’s hands then Brownlee’s numbers are pure bullshit. He is the one after all who promotes this mining solely on the basis of money in kiwis’ hands. So how about it Brownlee – show us the money! (the real money, not your current jack shit money)

    • This is the map supplied on Stuff:


      It says it is only 2.6% of the island, but it looks larger to me. Either way, large enough to look ugly from a long way back.

      • vto 25.2.1

        Thats a start, but I was thinking something far more specific rather than industry-wide. Use particular examples of mines currently working in NZ. Then it is something that the manwoman in the street can relate to.

      • Draco T Bastard 25.2.2

        In short, National’s quest to dig up our natural heritage is based on poor numbers and mining industry hype. And whichever side of the fence you’re on, that’s a very poor basis for a decision.

        National, making decisions on faith.

    • vto 25.3

      And actually just further on that.. if you follow the value of mines etc you will find that often these things cost a minute fraction of the value produced. The miners rely on the occasional big hit to counter the far more frequent dead-losses. Newmont in Waihi and Oceana at McRaes are two examples of this from what I know.

      In other words these best mines are literally pots of gold where the dollars pulled out exceed the costs by a massive multiple. And, getting to my point, any business which comes across such pots of gold takes that as profit / dividends i.e. to the foreign owners and not to the workers and local businesses etc.

      Unless NZ has an ownership in these mines there is simply no point and Brownlee’s argument is an ass.

      And, further again, bear in mind that these particular areas in this ‘stocktake’ have been chosen because everyone already knows that there are pots of gold in these locations.

      This is some truths..

      • Ari 25.3.1

        Even ignoring the environmental arguement, there’s still another reason on top of the issue of ownership that shoots this down on its own as a terrible idea.

        That reason is that these resources may not be at their peak value right now- most likely many of these resources will be in greater demand as we continue our overheated economy and unsustainable growth. If we even bought the ridiculous logic that all this destruction, all this international kleptocracy is worth it, we could still sell it all for a much higher price if we waited, or use it as a strategic reserve.

        • jagilby

          RE: peak price argument

          Depends if you think you could get a better return by having the cash now and investing it at a rate higher than the commodity increases in value by being in the ground.

          In simple terms with the cash in hand and trading actively you have far more control over:
          1. the returns; and,
          2. how diversified you are – rather than having all your eggs in the commodity basket.
          If you’ve ever valued a project or an entity (which, incidentally, I’ve done a few times) you’d know that cash flows are worth more, in a valuation context, the sooner they are received.

          Following on from that – cash now may be more useful given that when these prices peak NZ’s economy may be well and truly stuffed given its current trajectory (even in the absence of the fun that could be had chasing rich “pricks” out of the country with pitch forks and burning torches as Draco suggests – the Mugabe prescription as I like to call it). That is actually one of the arguments for digging now – using that cash to get NZ producing value-add products that the world actually wants to buy. Leveraging the returns now (even on a infinitesimally small piece of the estate) could create a sustainable high-value high-productivity economy worth far more than the minerals in the ground even at peak prices.

          • lprent

            There is an implicit assumption that prices for whatever mineral resources we have will not rise. Bearing in mind the way that readily accessible resources are getting mined out, then I’d say that that assumption is false.

            We’d be better off in purely financial terms to leave the ore in the ground. If it is worth something now, then it will be worth more in the future, and it is a non-renewable resource within human time frames. In the meantime we’d be better off putting effort into making our immediate economic future with more renewable resources.

            It isn’t like we can actually use whatever we extract in NZ. Most of the economic value will go offshore.

    • The Islanders ought to investigate the possibility of becoming part of Chile. I am sure the Chilean Government would not be as barbaric …

  25. Zaphod Beeblebrox 26

    Will this land be subject to a treaty claim? Any land that reverts to Crown Land will be offered to the local iwi first. I’m sure they will put a claim on the mineral wealth- pretty sure that was never signed over by the T o W.

    • Pascal's bookie 26.1

      Another wrinkle is to see how the crown obtained these lands. If they were gained/gifted from iwi or others as lands to be protected then that’s that.

  26. freedom 27

    and how do they justify giving an event of this importance only six weeks of consultation in the public forum

  27. SPC 28

    It’s times like these which reveal which journalists will help the governemnt sell their story to the public. Read around and it is soon fairly clear which ones not only place a value on puting the economy first but also dismiss critics in a way that is quite political.

  28. Descendant Of Smith 29

    Part of the reason I don’t trust the mining companies is their abysmal record overseas and their inability to clean up existing mining areas in New Zealand and elsewhere. I’m also confused about how all the valuable minerals have run and hidden on a small part of NZ. Is there really no private sector land that could be mined – none.

    Maybe part of the resistance strategy is to identify significant areas on private land that could potentially be mined. While that may grate with those who oppose mining generally it would help discredit the argument it needs to be on protected land.

    Maybe before we given any permission to do any more mining they should clean up some of the existing polluted areas to demonstrate that they can clean up after all. You know a good faith demonstration.

    And just to consider how well these companies clean up in Western ( in two senses of the word ) lands


    I would also hope in some way making a stand against these companies here we can also support some of the places overseas at the same time. This isn’t just a New Zealand problem

  29. Fisiani 30

    And the elephant in the room as always $240,000,000 borrowed each week. A modest proposal to maintain 99.8% of conservation land and increase it to 101% and still no praise for this balanced and thoughtful economic recovery option. And I thought Ulster Unionists were unthinking zealots…

    • Before promising a tax cut the Nats should have thought about this. It is not a case of mining some of our most majestic lands, it is a case of them being honest to the electorate during an election campaign .

      Oh, I see what the problem is …

    • SPC 30.2

      If your budget deficit went down from 2B to $600M for the year – how much would you be borrowing to cover it? The same amount forecast last year?

      Besides the government could always protect the heritage of all New Zealanders across generations by sacrificing the tax cut to the few for three or 4 years more.

    • lprent 30.3

      There are several things wrong with that comment.

      ..this balanced and thoughtful economic recovery option.

      So you’re expecting the recession to go on for another 5 years? Because that is when the first possible returns come in – when they might be able to start mining at the earliest. So your statement is essentially just inane unless you’re expecting NACT to be as inept as they have been so far for quite some time.

      …increase it to 101%

      You mean the land that was already slated to be included, what? 3 years ago. Get outta here – that is just these pillocks taking credit for other peoples work. Specifically Chris Carter.

      …as always $240,000,000 borrowed each week

      Even Bill English was forced to agree with that figure was bullshit. Of course the right appear to be too thick to listen to the minister of finance..

      A high proportion of that is actually the usual rolling debt, ie reborrowing using what is essentially a overdraft to cope with the vagaries of unsteady government income. Now when you do enough research to find the ‘correct’ figures (there are several), then we can discuss your other factual errors.

      And amazing 4 lines of total fact-free crap…..

  30. marco 31

    It seems that this government, who was elected on the promise of creating new ideas to drive New Zealand forward, is stuck in the past.

    What on earth is mining conservation land going to do to our overseas image. Businesses trade on that image. What cost will mining this land have on our exporters and tourism operators.

    I’ve never voted for Labour, and to be honest they have about as much charisma at the moment as a dead fish, but with the lack of a decent alternative it’s looking likely I’ll begin trumping for them. The current mob have no original ideas and no plan, hell even John Banks is speaking out against this……thats John f*&%ing Banks……c’mon get a clue.

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