It was good to see Green MPs, Forest and Bird and various other conservation groups challenging our fearless leader as he shilled for Bathurst Mining last night.
Bathurst is an Australian mining company whose operations are entirely in New Zealand. That is, they exist purely to take our natural resources and make Australian profit out of them.
They’ve already got resource consent to destroy a unique ecosystem and some of our biodiversity in the Denniston Plateau. That decision has been appealed by environmental groups, but in the meantime John Key has taken the opportunity to “officiate” at the opening of Bathurst’s Wellington lobbying office, and put pressure on DoC to grant concessions on our plateau.
As F&B advocate Nicola Toki put it:
“The prime minister turning up in an official capacity and endorsing the Bathurst office is a not-so-subtle way of influencing where the Department of Conservation should go.”
Quite why John Key is so desperate to enrich Australians at the loss of New Zealand’s environment I’m not sure, but while that Nats scoff at saving snails, the UN sees that the biodiversity crisis is even worse than climate change.
“We need a sea-change in human thinking and attitudes towards nature: not as something to be vanquished, conquered, but rather something to be cherished and lived within,” says economist Pavan Sukhdev.
Someone please tell the Nats.
Biodiversity side-note: John Key is refusing to meet his constituents about the potential loss of Maui’s dolphin. Apparently he wants to spend the rare time he is in his electorate talking about “pressing local issues”. What could be more pressing than extinction, and – when the main population of dolphins is off South Kiapara in his constituency – what could be more local, I’m not sure.