The Green Party is disappointed tonight that the Government has voted down Eugenie Sage’s members’ bill to stop new mining on conservation land. The time is now for a government that takes conservation seriously.
“Aotearoa is home to many unique plants and animals that are only found here. If Labour isn’t going to support our bill to protect their habitats and the dramatic landscapes and natural features on public conservation land, they need to front up with a clear alternative plan,” says Green Party conservation spokesperson, Eugenie Sage.
“In 2017 the Labour Government promised that there would be no new mines on conservation land. My members’ bill, the Crown Minerals (Prohibition of Mining) Amendment Bill would have achieved exactly that. But tonight, Labour chose not to turn their fine words and promises into action. It is clearer than ever that we need more Green MPs sitting around the decision making table pushing the government to do the right thing.
“Only 50 percent of conservation land (in national parks, nature reserves and wildlife sanctuaries) is protected from mining. My bill would have ensured there are no new mines on public conservation land and no new coal mines on any land in Aotearoa. Last term, NZ First was a handbrake on implementing Labour’s promise. That excuse no longer applies, yet Labour has settled for sticking with the status quo.
“Our conservation lands exist to protect our wild and wonderful natural places and landscapes, and all the amazing native plants and wildlife that call them home, and for people to enjoy. They don’t exist for billionaires to mine to increase their wealth. However, under the current law, big mining companies are still putting in applications to mine our precious conservation land.
“Hundreds of people have told the Greens why they believe conservation lands should be protected from new mines. Since Labour has voted down my bill, we’re calling on the Government to introduce its own legislation to protect our natural treasures.
“Let us be crystal clear: in a biodiversity and climate crisis we need a government that will put the health of our lands, forests, native plants and wildlife, and waterways above the short-term profit of mining companies. We all depend on nature for our economy, for the health of our communities and for our lives. Tonight it’s become obvious that only the Green Party is serious about taking every possible measure to protect our remaining wild and natural areas from harm,” says Eugenie Sage.