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Mining II: The Empire Strikes Back

Written By: - Date published: 7:53 am, June 11th, 2011 - 52 comments
Categories: Conservation, Gerry Brownlee, Mining, national - Tags: ,

A little over a year ago the biggest single protest march in this country since 1938 put the final nail in the coffin of Gerry Brownlee and the Nats’ amateur hour plans to mine our most precious conservation land.

Or so we thought. But like a bad horror movie, the villain always comes back for one more round before the credits roll. So here we go again:

Mining sector ‘planning conservation land access’

Less than a year after being defeated by strong public opposition, the mining industry is planning another bid to gain access to minerals lying beneath the conservation estate, leading industry figures have indicated.

Labour MP David Parker yesterday said “senior” mining industry sources had told him they planned to seek an increase in the size of pockets of Schedule Four land, which may be used for mining related activities. … Mr Parker understood the industry’s objective was “to prove whether there’s a valuable resource there, and then you would cause a large amount of pressure to remove an area from Schedule Four protection”.

Currently the Nats are making all the right noises:

Last year, we consulted with New Zealanders on mining and Schedule Four and the answer was resoundingly clear – New Zealanders do not want mining on Schedule Four lands and the outcomes of that review will be incorporated into the Crown Minerals regime.

But we need to watch this space very carefully. Will they bow down to industry requests to facilitate access for prospecting? If they do we’ll know that their apparent obedience to the public will is a sham. Because there’s no point in prospecting if you aren’t going to dig up what you find.

As No Right Turn points out, the Nats are playing nice on this issue in election year. But if (heaven forbid) they are in a second term, they will be under increasing pressure to actually deliver something on the economy except dodgy numbers and excuses. In the absence of any actual ideas, and if prospecting has indicated the presence of mineral resources, the Nats won’t pass up the opportunity for some (self-defeating) short term gain. The only way to keep our conservation land safe is to elect a Labour / Green government.

52 comments on “Mining II: The Empire Strikes Back ”

  1. Akldnut 1

    Jerry, John, Bill – I am your father, you must bend to the power of the dark side.
    Use the deathstar (Beehive) to impliment total destruction on Schedule Four land.
    We will crush this insurrection.

  2. A Green/Labour Government sounds vital.

    • For the Labour/Green party ponzi savings scam Kiwi Saver to pay out a pension to the Green Party supporter … say in 20 – 40 years time we MUST continue mining and destruction of the environment.
      Kiwi Saver is based on economic growth, which is based on this system GROWING, if the system dose not grow you might as well burn your KS investment, as at least it will give you a kilojoule of warmth, as it adds a tad more carbon to the atmosphere, ops sorry don’t want to bring in the fact that the planet will be very human hostile long before the 18 year old Kiwi Saver investor sees retirement.
      We are so fucking stupid …. that is why we get fucking stupid leaders.
      Lets just chuck some more babies at the problem http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=1484635787266506285#

      • weka 2.1.1

        So? Lets not vote on the left, National gets in again, they start mining in the next few years? How does that help?

      • Colonial Viper 2.1.2

        You’re completely misfocussed Robert. Conceptually you may be correct but what is your pre-occupation with KiwiSaver? Why aren’t you targetting ALL retirement plans? And ALL savings accounts? And ALL lending?

        Because they are ALL predicated on continuing economic growth. And even if you successfully get rid of ALL of them, the push for economic growth will continue unchanged because that push comes primarily from major institutional shareholders not from ma and pa KiwiSavers.

        I’m waiting for you to lay down the law banning people in NZ having more than one child now, and banning immigration here. Two things which drive unsustainable demand for economic growth.

        • Robert Atack

          “I’m waiting for you to lay down the law banning people in NZ having more than one child now, and banning immigration here. Two things which drive unsustainable demand for economic growth.”

          One child is one to many, and I have always said close the borders, giving the million or so Kiwis ‘out there’ 6 months to get back

          And yes ‘they are all dependent on economic growth’, but I didn’t see the Green Party voting for them?

          Even the local governments have 10 year plans based on utter bullshit …. It is up to our leaders to lead us, not keep the spin going at all costs.

          As I’ve said for the past 10 years they needed to educate the kids, that this system is suicide, and guaranteed to kill them, in subtle way, like gardening skills, and I’m not talking watching a Kumar sprout out of a jar.
          And ‘they’ could have sent NZ down a slightly more sustainable organic food production path other than us becoming the Saudi Arabia of milk. … This has not just happened over the past 2.5 years – Labour and the Greens had ample opportunity to show they cared.

          • Colonial Viper

            It’s fairly simple then mate, batton down the hatches in your own neighbourhood and ride out the storm back a hundred years to 2B global population.

          • ianupnorth

            I presume you are aware that during the 2000’s one of the biggest drivers of growth was the influx of migrants that brought their pounds, rand, rupees, bahts, Euros and whatever, increased the demand for homes, appliances cars, etc. Shame most of the cars were second hand Jap imports, the TV’s and appliances were Korean or Chinese, the homes were badly built and leaked, and the infrastructure needed to support the increase in population never transpired.
            BTW When I came to NZ over 10 years ago I paid approximately NZ$20K for the privilege; I also brought a degree, professional qualifications and post grad quals that were paid for by another government (as did my wife) and three healthy children that will all contribute to NZ society.
            Many of those that have jumped the ditch have had a bum deal from the NZ education system and there has been little or no investment to create jobs for them – many are in unskilled jobs in mining – maybe that’s why you want them back?

  3. Afewknowthetruth 3

    So, what it amounts to is this: NZers want all the benefits of western-style industrial living -cheap energy, cheap food, travel, entertainment, social services etc.- but don’t want to pay the price that is being paid everywhere else in the world.

    Have your cake and eat it arguments abound on this forum.

    Which is it to be: sacrifice rich living or sacrifice the environment?

    We already know the answer.

    And the international mining behemoth will continue to have its way until the global financial system collapses completely or there is no oil to run the machinery…. whichever comes first.

    (That hypocrite David Parker is a fine one to talk about mining!)

    • weka 3.1

      I think there is that degree of hypocricy but people are changing. They’re starting to make the connections that if we don’t mine here, we use someone else’s minerals. Or if we ban windfarms we don’t have enough power for our current lifestyles.
      I’d have less of a problem with mining in NZ if it was about using minerals here for stuff that’s actually important in a post peak oil/cc world rather than just making shitloads of money. Besides, we already mine the National Parks. It’s called tourism.

    • David do nothing Parker had ample opportunity to bring peak oil to the attention of the masses, it happened while he was playing minister of energy. His prim minister even said so at the time, even though David DN Parker and his office were saying “peak oil 2030-7” Helen said We are probable past peak production NOW which was 18-4-2006 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YxIp5h0Xtuc&feature=channel_video_title
      Helen was possibly the first western leader to say this, I’m sure she was ‘closed down’ as she had stepped way over the mark, and spoken out of turn, It might have gone like this “shut the fuck up Helen, or no UN” … And then they stuck you all with a growth in global oil supplies ponzi saving scam
      I’m yelling into a vacuum I know.
      They say $85.00 oil equals a global depression, who knows what price it will go to? and I’m not even going to go there, but just now it is , and has been for some while over $85.00 so the global depression is guaranteed, how do you all think we are going to be able to say rebuild Chch, or clean up another GOM disaster (pretending they cleaned up the last one) or stop Fukushima taking out most of Japan?
      Personally I can’t see the mining industry lasting much longer as it is also dependent on a growing economy.
      The insurance industry is going broke, leaving more and more people wondering why they paid premiums (because they also believed in growth and destruction of their children’s environment)
      And least we forget Homer G Simpleton still thinks peak oil is 2030 or beyond, or at least the effects will not be significant? What is a global depression Gerry? A – the closure of Kentucky Fried

      • weka 3.2.1

        “how do you all think we are going to be able to say rebuild Chch,…”
        I don’t. Or at least not in the way being planned. The problem is that we don’t know timeframes for things like the mineral industry and insurance industries collapsing. So it’s very easy for people to get complacent even when they know how deep the shit is. Also, I’ve been hearing about the end of world for most of my life and it still hasn’t happened (40+years). So it’s hard to act as if it already is ending (which it is, just slower than necessary for it to be really obvious). You can say x will happen soon, and when it doesn’t people will stop listening to the whole message or will just think yeah that’s right but not right now.

      • Puddleglum 3.2.2

        Robert, I’m surprised you don’t support Kiwisaver. If, as you say, it’s a scam based on growth that won’t happen, then that means it effectively takes money out of immediate circulation (sometimes for around 50 years). That means less direct consumption now (which is good?).

        Of course, where the money is ‘invested’ matters (e.g., high energy consumption industries vs. low energy consumption industries) but, in any event – and according to you – that ‘investment’ won’t actually lead to growth as the system is poised to collapse.

        So, why do you want to keep Kiwisaver money in people’s pockets (now) so that consumption can be even higher (now)? If your analysis is correct then it’s ultimately neither here nor there whether or not we have Kiwisaver, isn’t it?

        • terryg

          LOL 😀

          sometimes education is a good thing.

        • Robert Atack

          What I’m trying to say is that the green party and Labour sold you this con, ok so removing some ability to buy crap is a good thing, but maintaining the environment destroying system via propping up failing money markets and the global banks is not good ether.
          Kiwi Saver is a drop in the ocean I’m sure, but it paints a future for the masses when clearly there isn’t one, so the fools rush out thinking there future first home is ‘in the bank’ so they can start the illusion of a house in the burbs, with little Johnny and Mary trotting off to school each day while daddy drives off to work
          This illusion is over, but as we maintain the con that money printed/created in some ones computer overseas then lent to us is real money and sustainable growth, allowing us to keep over grazing the planet just that much longer
          I will try and explain it
          take the deep sea fisherman, he goes out and strips the fish from the ocean, killing off all future generations of fish, so next season he catches less fish, in the real world he would starve to death and the fish would recover, but in our Disneyland world the fisherman just borrows more money (postponing his demise) and guaranteeing the fish will never recover
          So we use artificial money to convert accent sunlight to food, TVs, baby monitors etc. We are told this is all good, and the only way to survive the future is to keep consuming and increasing the population
          Yet the one party who pretends to promote future generations and the betterment of the environment is tits deep in the same illusion, which is that money markets and banks will improve the life style and future survivability of your children.
          To maintain the viability of Kiwi Saver we must keep doing what we have always done …. destroy the environment, not just your environment but all future generations ie the Green Party MPs children
          The Easter Islanders worshipped the same ‘growth on a finite planet’ god, and look where it got them.
          WE live with the same rules of nature.

          El Gigante” Moai

          This is the largest moai ever carved, but it is unfinished. It would have been 65 feet tall and would have weighed 165 tons. Experts say that the islanders would not have been able to move and erect a statue of this size.
          "El Gigante" Moai, Rano Raraku, Easter Island, 2005

          Our system is based on everyone going out each day and carving yet another statue call it voting.

          We haven’t progressed much have we.

  4. tc 4

    More distractions from the nats to appear like they have a handle on how to grow the economy…..it is not mining that’s for sure as plenty of the posts last time pointed out.

    They don’t create sufficient jobs, they’re foreign owned and unless you levy the shite out of what they extract to ensure NZ gets it’s fair share (like the nats would ever do that to big bus) they leave environmental damage whilst ruining the clean green image.

    More big business paybacks for that stonking wealthy mining chairman of CT.

  5. chris73 5

    This is very good news, I’m all for creating jobs in depressed areas, for giving work to people that want it and for bringing in money to pay for our health, education, retirement etc etc

    Thank goodness National will get re-elected

    • bbfloyd 5.1

      i’m beginning to think you use a trowel to do your hair… it would be the only thing that would keep the crap you use for a brain the right shape to fool people into thinking that’s just a wig on there.

      it’s fuckwits like you that would have this country turned into the new slag pile of the pacific.. too bad about the poor sods still trapped here when it comes about. but then, they would be the ones who “made bad lifestyle choices” , so probably would deserve all the hardship aye…

      • chris73 5.1.1

        Whatever Big Butch floyd (or is that Big Bitch floyd?) I want to see this country get ahead and using our natural resources is one way to do it

        Cumknuckles like yourself would rather see people unemployed lest some native grass gets trampled on

        Why don’t you piss off to some socialist paradise and dribble your fantasies there

        • Draco T Bastard

          Ripping out our natural resources and selling them off leaves us with nothing. Nobody in their right mind would call that “getting ahead”.

          We have all the resources here to everything we need to do to maintain our society but arseholes like you keep wanting us to sell them off.

          • Bazar

            Ripping out our natural resources and selling them off leaves us with nothing. Nobody in their right mind would call that “getting ahead”.

            And leaving our natural resources to rot achieves what?
            Oh we have mountains of gemstones untouched and hidden away in a natural forest collecting interest?

            Meanwhile we have unemployed with nothing better to do then to be a bludge to those who are employed?

            Mining is a great way to generate capital, yes CAPITAL. This would create jobs, pay taxes, and improve living conditions. And if those funds that are created or saved are used to invest in more companies, it’d create more jobs, and it’d just permanently improve living conditions for New Zealanders.

            Instead we had greenies so worked up into a hype they got people marching down the streets protesting about land they’d never see, to help protect a tourism industry that would never be in jeopardy.

            I remember a TV interview done to some passer-by on the street, asking about what they thought about mining.
            She was fervently opposed to it.
            When asked what the government could do to improve the economy, she replied that the government should instead focus on improving the tourism industry (again during the recession, when tourism shrinks).
            I felt she summed up the thoughts of the anti-mining movement.
            A person who felt with feelings, and told to feel outraged, she marched on without any consideration or comprehension about NZ’s long term finances.
            We do not have a hidden away billion dollar a year tourism attraction. We do have it in minerals.

            Don’t even get me started about the island Auckland ratepayers subsidise as an effective retirement island, the local retirees opposing mining because it wouldn’t look as nice, all while their young go unemployed and move to Auckland to find work (or don’t, and don’t).

        • Purplescottie

          “I want to see this country get ahead”
          Ahead of what?

          • Akldnut

            Ahead in a race to the bottom, about three more years should do it.
            What better reason to get rid of this group of turds.

        • Colonial Viper

          Wow chris73 thinks we can “get ahead” by polluting and destroying our streams, rivers, lakes and forests.

          Who exactly is going to get ahead from this?

          Is National’s plan for economic growth all about digging up rocks then? Is that the best that English and Key can come up with after 3 years?


        • ianupnorth

          Chris, at roughly the same time as you post I asked a question – what do you do when the minerals run out? (Hint, look what Dubai has done)

          Unfortunately we have finite assets; once they are sold (be that coal, ore, power companies or airlines) they are gone.
          The government hasn’t quite worked out that if they kept the assets they are planning to sell they would return the same income in 10years as they stand to make from the sales (and they would still own them!)

          They also want to go ahead with deep sea drilling across a known volcanic fault line in very deep water – again highly risky. They also plan to do this via the model the UK took – licence the fields and the companies make the profits. In contrast Norway chose to do their oil and gas a different way – it was the countries asset, therefore a large proportion of the profits were returned to the Norwegian people, not big business.

          It’s funny how Norway has low crime, good health, minimal poverty and one of the most affluent (and highly taxed) populations in the world, yet the UK is broke, has high crime, poverty and massive debt.

          In case you aren’t aware – the oil was brokered away by Ted Heath, the conservative PM for short term gain, the Norwegians had a social democrat govt. Funny that!

          The only people seemingly happy with the proposed offer to drill are Petrobras.

  6. Steve 6

    Dig baby, dig. Let’s make some wealth for this country and create some jobs. We need money to pay the non productive people

  7. Afewknowthetruth 7

    It’s all a rigged game.

    Nathan Rothschild (yes, of the centuries-old Rothschild financial empire) is currently sponsoring Tony Hayward (the eco-vandal of the Gulf of Mexico) in the establishment of an energy trading and ‘investment’ company (read looting).

    National/Labour governments have always been part of the problem, and will never be part of the solution, since such governments are ‘owned’ by money-lenders and global corporations..

    Ordinary people are just the ‘cannon fodder’ that ‘entrepreneurs’ use to make their obscene profits while they wreck the environment for coming generations -that’s if there are going to be any coming generations: the rate of global environmental destruction is accelerating to such an extent few people are likely to survive much beyond 2030. Atmospheric CO2 is now 394ppm and risng at 2ppm per annum. 350ppm is the acknowledged ‘safe upper limit’, so we are now 44ppm in overshoot and doing nothing whatsoever about it -just adding more via coal burning etc.

    Kiwi saver: well, since that is predicated on perpetual economic growth on a finite planet and economic growth is now pretty much over (peak oil), Kiwi saver is also pretty much over (along with most so-called long term investments).

    The current game is to keep the proles misinformed and believeng for as long as possible by pretending growth is still possible (via mining), even though all the cheap and abundant oil was burned long ago and the globalised economic system is slowly imploding as a consequence.

    • Colonial Viper 7.1

      Meh, so what next? Batten down the hatches and wait for population collapse back to 2B?

      • Afewknowthetruth 7.1.1

        Depending on one’s age and circumstances one may be able to minimise one’s financial losses and learn skills relating to living in the real world -making, fixing, mending, growing etc. Hand tools will definitely be very useful .

        There is no stopping ‘the juggernout’, especially when such a large portion of the populace is grossly uninformed and utterly deluded, and is focused on ways to keep the sinking ship afloat a little longer via economic growth, electric cars, windmiills, converting food into motor vehicle fuel etc.

  8. vto 8

    Well I have it on good local source near to one of the mining industry’s main targets that the issue has risen straight to the top of the agenda again with respect to the fantasyland Haast-Hollyford dreamroad, which of course is a side-issue to gain access to the loaded-to-the-gunnels Red Mountains.

    If you want one target to really watch then check this one. Push hard the Westland and Central Otago regional councils and DOC for info. There have been talks again.

    It has blasted to the surface super-quick again. This post together with this recent happening in the deep southwest place pieces of a puzzle…

    • weka 8.1

      It’s also coupled in with corporate Queenstown wanting to build a connection straight to Milford instead of via Te Anau (current proposal is a tunnel through the Humboldt Mts into the Hollyford). Are there connections between those in Qtown pusing for this and the mining interests in the Red Hills? This is not only National Park, it’s a World Heritage site.

      • vto 8.1.1

        Yes there will be a tie-up. But it is completely and utterly brainless on two simple fronts. One, the cost benefit. They seem to think it can be done for $2-300million. ha ha ha ha ha ha fucking lying tossers. Add at least 1 zero to that. Why do you think the Haast stretch of the coast road was the last connected in late 1960s? Because it was so difficult (i.e. expensive) due to swamp and river and swamp and river and swamp and river. So several billions at least would be the answer. Which will then have people all over the country saying ‘hey what the fuck about the dangerous intersection down our street where our mate died last year? You can bloody fix that before you start paying for touro’s to go for a drive. Especially when they can already drive shitloads of that coast. Fuck off.” There is no cost-benefit. Simple.

        And two, environmental. That coast is the largest stretch of untouched and walkable coastline remaining in New Zealand. It is virgin New Zealand. The environment would be devastated. It would be Manapouri all over again. I will be lying in front of the bulldozers you can bet on that. In fact, I will place my own bulldozer in front of their bulldozer. No I wouldn’t, I would place ten bulldozers in front of them. And shove them all the way back to whatever over-developed barren wasteland part of NZ they came from.

        • lprent

          Because it was so difficult (i.e. expensive) due to swamp and river and swamp and river and swamp and river.

          You forgot the frigging sandflies. I vividly remember doing a bike trip down the west coast in the 80’s and ending up at Haast

        • weka

          There is a third thing – the road would be private. So you and I would have to pay to drive on it.
          I agree it would be another Manapouri, it would draw national protest. I’d be there in front of the bulldozers with you.

          • Armchair Critic

            The road is not economically viable unless it is purely for mining, and not open to public traffic (even as a toll road).
            If the backers of the road can convince some financier that the economics do stack up, then there will be the public opposition (which will be massive) and the whole consenting and appeals process to go through. I’ll donate my time to prepare submissions and evidence.
            But I won’t stand in front of the bulldozer. I’ll stand beside it, pouring sugar in the diesel tank or putting a gas axe through the links that hold the tracks together, in the middle of the night. Or setting them all on fire. Or blowing up the access bridges. Whatever it takes.

        • Armchair Critic

          Your cost estimate seems reasonable, vto, it’s billions of dollars, rather than hundreds of millions. And that’s where the problem lies for anyone proposing to build the road.
          According to my back of a cigarette packet calculation, the toll on a private vehicle would need to be over $50 and that would only cover the capital costs, not the financing costs or operations and maintenance.
          As for civil disobedience, in general my first inclination is to support passive protest. But, fuck it all, if anyone tries to put a road through the Haast-Hollyford route I won’t merely be passively resisting. That is the kind of idea that requires active protest, sabotage of machinery and the like.

  9. ianupnorth 9

    Anyone care to comment on what you do when the coal/lignite/whatever runs out?
    Labour wanted to invest in research and innovation, which would appear to me to be a potentially more sustainable solution.

  10. ianupnorth 10

    Logan’s Run… everyone jumps down a hole aged 30. Currently we have Key’s Hole, everyone jumps to Aussie when they turn 30….

  11. John D 11

    For the 100% of you sitting in front of a computer or mobile device, I am sure you are feeling happy that the rare earths and other minerals required to build your device will be sourced from China, Australia, or “somewhere else”, other than “clean clean NZ”

    • vto 11.1

      Dopey man. If you read c a r e f u l l y you will learn that it is not about all mining it is about mining on the conservation estate. Sheesh.

      • John D 11.1.1

        I do realise that. However, there is a very large percentage of NZ that is conservation land, too much in my opinion.
        Furthermore, the bush has a habit of reclaiming land back fairly quickly.
        My point is that mining doesn’t have to be all bad, if done in a careful manner.

        Reefton, on the West Coast, for example, benefits from the local gold mine in terms of employment and money into the local coffers.

        I don’t see this as a black and white issue, that’s all.

        • vto

          fair enough. I have been involved in exploration and mining myself on and off over a lond period and definitely am aware of its place in the world.

          Imo though, a line needs to be drawn. For all extractive industries (including water takes for example). That line has been drawn and that’s it.

          And when you examine some of these in detail, such as going into south westland / fiordland and actually look at what is lost compared to what is gained it is a no-brainer against mining. If it was in the middle of the heavily industrialised canterbury Plains though, different story altogether.

          No way jose to schedule 4. End.

    • Draco T Bastard 11.2

      I’m not against mining even on schedule 4 land (it should be done very carefully and over a long time period) what I’m against is then selling those assets off in such a way as to leave us with nothing which is what the plan actually is. If we used them here, put in a strict recycling program so as to minimise what we needed to take out, I wouldn’t have a problem at all.

      Of course, in that scenario, the capitalists don’t make a profit and get to live like the debauched kings they believe themselves to be.

  12. ianupnorth 12

    John, another view would be that it would be more productive to invest in our talent pool and to go for some ‘value added’ part to all our raw material exports – why do we have to ship timber to Indonesia to be made into toilet paper that comes back here – silly example, but you get the point.


    Interesting that the ‘Sunday’ programme has chosen to investigate ‘disturbing questions’ about the Pike River Mine ‘disaster’?

    (This Sunday 12 June 2011)



    “Best Practice

    We has new evidence from inside the Pike River Mine that raises disturbing questions about what was going on after the first explosion and considers whether some of the men could have survived the blast.

    And SUNDAY has been down an Australian mine, compared operations, and talked to a mining expert who’s appalled at safety at Pike River and says the mine should have been closed before the disaster.”
    Penny Bright

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