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Key due to release mining decision today

Written By: - Date published: 10:28 am, July 19th, 2010 - 18 comments
Categories: Environment, Mining - Tags: ,

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…

18 comments on “Key due to release mining decision today ”

  1. prism 1

    I’ve had an idea for combining mining and tourism. The pizza delivery boy should dig a big, wide hole in the grass berm outside Mr Key’s place, where he regularly visits apparently, and conduct tourist trips to view it.

    The fascination of open-cast mining shouldn’t be restricted to natural areas that are not settled, there can be unsettled places in the big cities worthy of exploitation, and I suggest outside the home of the Minister of Tourism would be a shining example of entrepreneurship.

    captcha – artists (seems applicable as in bull;;;t artists)

  2. Bill 2

    I’d pick that they will go for unpopular decision number two.

    There is no cohesion on the left and that means there will be no persistent and growing opposition.

    The mining lobbies will turn out in their 10s of thousands for a day (perhaps) and then…..?

    Meanwhile the ‘fire at will’ protesters will be sitting around awaiting directions from on high…

    And all compliant, ‘wait for the leader/follow the leader’ protesters within these constituencies have this simple thing in common with other left constituencies. They have not developed and are not developing (to my knowledge) any mechanisms or structures that can be used for meaningful and empowering communications across constituencies that in turn might facilitate independent action…including the growth of a movement… free from the approval or otherwise of various ‘central commands.’

    And as long as that is the case, the left will not be able to develop any serious and lasting opposition to government policies. We might win a skirmish here and a battle there, but the wins will be in the context of rear guard actions. Not advances.

    1980s – 90s redux.

  3. tc 3

    Listening to sideshow John on RNZ this morning was a depressing insight into both the state of the media and where the Nat’s are coming from.
    Sideshow maintains alot of the submissions were ‘templated’ and as such dissmissable and went on to say that the waihi goldmine was the largest tourist attraction in the coromandel.

    So according to John, mining = tourist attractions and if your submission looks like it’s based on others it’s ignored……so you can see the agenda becoming clear in terms of RNZ appearances….no challenging (defenitely no plunkett) or I’ll sling my hook back to no-brains morning telly only.

    He was challenged once and shrugged it off….no doubt his media minders will take this up with RNZ……RIP journalism

    • Lanthanide 3.1

      “Sideshow maintains alot of the submissions were ‘templated’ and as such dissmissable and went on to say that the waihi goldmine was the largest tourist attraction in the coromandel.”

      I’ve heard that when templated submissions are received, they’re often sorted into a group and then counted as a single submission, rather than multiple. I believe this went on under the last government also. I don’t know when this counting is done, for example they say 42,000 submissions were received for the mining debate and the vast bulk of them would have been templates, so clearly that initial number was not discounting templated ones.

  4. prism 4

    Yes I noticed King John the Clueless saying that comments that have been set up by a lobby group are marginally considered. Strange what influences the Nats welcome, a few individuals around the country (probably at approved political meetings) have rapier sharp opinions but masses of people do not.

    It could be a good idea to have a site with a variety of approaches to the latest contentious matter which the rushed individual could tap into, then there is choice and an individual opinion.

  5. Economic case for mining does not stack up

    Conservation organisation Forest & Bird says the Government’s economic arguments to justify mining New Zealand’s most precious conservation land do not stack up.

    “Forest & Bird commissioned reports from independent economist Geoff Bertram, which show mining of Schedule 4 land will hurt the wider economy,’ Forest & Bird Advocacy Manager Kevin Hackwell says.

    “So we don’t believe the Government can justify mining some of our most valuable conservation land on economic grounds.’

    The Government has claimed economic growth would be boosted by removing more than 7,000 hectares of high-value conservation land from Schedule 4 protection in the Crown Minerals Act on Great Barrier Island, Coromandel and Paparoa National Park.

    Dr Geoff Bertram, an independent economist at Simon Terry Associates and Senior Associate at the Victoria University of Wellington Institute of Policy Studies, found that the value of mining on Schedule 4 land would be greatly outweighed by the economic damage of mining to New Zealand’s clean green image, which underpins the $21 billion tourism industry and our food exports.

    He also concluded estimates of the value of mining were wildly overstated in figures used by the Government.

    The reports quote two previous studies done for the Government of the risk to our 100% Pure New Zealand-branded tourism market, which showed degrading the country’s clean green image would cost around one percent of GDP equivalent to the entire mining sector’s contribution to the economy.

    These studies were done in the early years of the 100% Pure New Zealand branding campaign and before the full impact of the huge global success of the Lord of the Rings film trilogy was felt.

    “Since then most of New Zealand’s primary industries have also leveraged their international marketing off the 100% Pure branding. So the economic impact of the mining proposals could be a lot greater if those studies were repeated today,’ Mr Hackwell says.

    One of the reports exposes as “economically meaningless’ Ministry of Economic Development figures that value New Zealand’s mineral resources excluding coal, gas and oil – around $194 billion because these take no account of where they are and whether they can be economically mined.

    Statistics New Zealand’s “Mineral Monetary and Physical Stock Account’ values our non-petroleum mineral resources around $1 billion. The areas proposed to be removed from Schedule 4 comprise about 10 percent of the total, with a value of about $100 million, or just $36 for each New Zealand voter.

    “Up to 50,000 people marched in Auckland and thousands more in other centres to show they believe mining in our most precious natural landscapes is an attack on our national identity,’ Mr Hackwell says.

    “Forest & Bird has sent copies of Dr Bertram’s research to all Cabinet ministers and hopes that they will consider at the Cabinet meeting today the potential economic downside of mining and the intrinsic value of these wild places when they make their decision today.’

  6. I put my money on National including the west coast Black sands in the mining mix.

    • The Baron 6.1

      How much money? Your previous predictions have a pretty much zero strike rate, and say more about the level of your delusional paranoia than your analytical ability.

      In other words, it would be a pretty good bet.

  7. National Radio are reporting that a decision has been made but they will not announce it until tomorrow morning.

    I suspect they are asking Crosby Textor how to spin what is obviously a bad decision.

    CT have 12 working hours to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear …

  8. Carol 8

    Patrick Gower on TV3 says he’s seen the Nat’s position on schedule 4 mining, and it’s a total backdown. Garner is gloating claiming he called it in March, by saying Brown was a genie out of the bottle, and key would need to pull him back in coming weeks (months?)

    • Newstalk ZB is reporting that Cabinet has today reversed from the two tourist spots (Great Barrier and Coromandel) because of the backlash.

      So Paparoa is still going to be mined.

      Good strategy. A couple of strawmen and have one in reserve. Then look like you are being “reasonable” even though you are going to open up for mining an area that should be preserved.

      • Carol 8.1.1

        The Government is preparing to dump its controversial plans to mine sensitive conservation land.

        Government backdown on mining
        by TRACY WATKINS
        Last updated 19:06 19/07/2010
        Stuff.co.nz has confirmed that the Government will announce tomorrow that it has scrapped plans to mine parts of the Coromandel, Paparoa and Great Barrier Island after a public outcry.

        It will also announce that there will be no further mining in national parks.

        It is a huge backtrack from its earlier announcement that it would investigate mining on protected Schedule 4 conservation land for hundreds of millions of dollars in valuable minerals.

        Maybe you’re right, Ron. It’s hard to know.

        I think they’ll also be announcing mining of non-schudule 4 land – maybe fossil fuel mining? There’s a possible range of scenarios, IMO. Smoke & mirrors in all directions.

  9. Ron 9

    I think the “opening Schedule 4 for mining” ruse was a slight of hand from the start. Look at the timing of the announcements. The back down on mining with a day of the beginning of the attack on working NZers. They never intened to allow mining of Schedule 4.

    I’ll be proved wrong if Gezza loses his job. But as Gezza, the Smiths, McCully et al are the ones running the show ,I reckon he’ll be standing as Minister at the next election.

  10. hmmmm 10

    I’ll look forward to the Standard’s authors giving credit where its due for Key’s back down today. This, after all, is the decision you wanted, isn’t it?

    • loota 10.1

      Yes I agree, The Standard shuld be giving the credit to all the New Zealanders who raised their voices and marched in protest on the mining issue.

      Proud to be a New Zealander!!!

      • Carol 10.1.1

        Also, as the attacks on worker and union rights heats up, remember what Key said on NadRad Morning Report yesterday: he said that there hadn’t been as much protests against his proposed new employment laws as there was against mining and National Standards in schools. He used this to suggest that the employment law changes were likely to be widely accepted.

        I’m hoping the protests against the attacks on workers rights will grow and be well co-ordinated, so that Key’s words will haunt him, rather than being revisited to undermine the pro worker, pro union protests.

    • Pascal's bookie 10.2

      How much credit to give the springboks for saturday’s result?

      Did they not want to win?

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