Finally after weeks of delay, we are to hear what Cabinet is deciding over the mining of our precious Schedule 4 conservation land. According to RNZ:
Three areas, Great Barrier Island, the Coromandel, and Paparoa National Park on the West Coast, are under consideration. The Cabinet will also decide whether to put more land in. The Royal Forest & Bird Protection Society of New Zealand says there were 42,000 public submissions during an earlier consultation process and that shows the public are opposed to the idea.
Mr Key told Morning Report all the submissions have been considered. However, he said widening mining opportunities will create jobs. Energy Minister Gerry Brownlee says there will be more mining in New Zealand in future.
Let’s see if Key can bring himself to make two unpopular decisions in close succession (given it’s hot on the heels of their ‘right to fire’ changes). If it’s all given the big tick that will be a boost for the reputation of Brownlee. If not, makes the next Cabinet reshuffle interesting…