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National Parks, not National’s parks

Written By: - Date published: 9:31 am, March 15th, 2010 - 82 comments
Categories: Conservation, Environment, Mining - Tags: , ,

Forest and Bird has obtained information that Prime Minister John Key and Energy Minister Gerry Brownlee are looking to mine Paparoa National Park (the park of the famous Punakaiki blowholes), Great Barrier Island, and areas surrounding the Thames township.

[Forest and Bird] Spokesman Kevin Hackwell said the organisation had learned of three areas to be named in a delayed discussion document as areas the Government wanted to allow mining in.

Those included about 700ha in Te Ahumata plateau on Great Barrier Island, 396ha in Otahu Ecological Area, 3000ha in Eastern Paparoa National Park near Inangahua and 2500ha near Thames township.

That document has now been delayed four times. Originally it was due out in November.

I wonder if Key is so worried about the public reaction to mining our natural heritage, that he’s ordered Brownlee to delay the discussion document so Crosby/Textor can ready the PR campaign?

Though to be honest, I’m not sure that’ll be good enough this time Mr Key.

Kiwis don’t want pristine areas like Paparoa National Park destroyed. And the people of Thames don’t want their township put at risk because of Brownlee’s push to satisfy his mining mates.

Like Pascal’s bookie said on my last post on this topic, what Key and Brownlee have planned here goes further even than George W. Bush and Dick Cheney were willing to go. If an unfavourable comparison to Bush isn’t an indictment, I don’t know what is.

Kiwis won’t stand for it.

This could very well be the first popularity contest in three years that Key loses.

82 comments on “National Parks, not National’s parks ”

  1. tc 1

    This is where the real leopards spots become apparent……just a little more tip toeing around whilst we cobble together a charm affensive them WHAMMO, under urgency or maybe a sham consultation just to make the plebs feel valued like supershity.

    Well they can’t have a bok tour so mining seems a fantastic way to divide communities and make some dosh via shares into the bargain….win win !

    • Smokie 1.1

      The words “Save Manapouri” come to mind.

      • gitmo 1.1.1

        Manapouri is an excellent example of activism halting excessive exploitation of the natural resources and government allowing rational exploitation of the natural resources despite activism …… if that makes any sense ?

  2. But I thought that Key was capable of conducting mining in a protective and environmentally sensitive way? Doesn’t that win the argument if Smile and Wave says that it will be “sustainable” and “surgical”?

    I thought of another nickname for Key, “Side Show John”. That is what he does really well, walk and talk like a liberal progressive environmentalist and divert attention to himself while the trolls around him slowly but inevitably take New Zealand apart stitch by stitch.

  3. toad 3

    If Key and Brownlee think they are going to mine Great Barrier Island, they have obviously never been there and met the islanders.

    I suspect any attempts to bring mining equipment onto Great Barrier Island could meet a similar fate to the attempt by an Australian entrepreneur to introduce pokie machines to Norfolk Island back in the 1980s – they ended up at the bottom of the ocean outside the reef.

  4. Sookie 4

    Look at this quote from a meeting between Otago farmers and David Carter, from the Oddity:

    “High Country Accord chairman Jonathan Wallis said that while lessees were relieved the Government was addressing their concerns, voters sympathetic to conservation outnumbered farmers, and politicians might need to court their political support.

    Mr Carter agreed that was a challenge, but he believed most people had conservation sympathies but were rational and realised the need to balance economic necessity and conservation.

    A Government proposal to allow mining of conservation land was an example.

    There was the expected outrage from organisations such as the Green Party, but once details had been explained, most New Zealanders accepted it was a resource that should be looked at, he said.”

    They are relying on the apathy and sheer stupidity of the NZ public to get this through without a murmur. The crusading days of Save Manapouri and the original campaign to protect Paparoa NP from logging in the 1980’s are over. I wish this wasn’t true, but it is.

    • Red Rosa 4.1

      High country annual leases are slowly being moved above State House levels, to predictable howls of outrage.

      The abovementioned Wallis is leasing Minarets Station, carrying 20k+ stock units, for about $22k per year. Gross income would be in the range $1m – $1.5m annually.

      An annual rental of $100k odd was proposed last year, a not unreasonable sum, but this was reduced on appeal to the $22k.

      Somewhat surprisingly, given Carter is the Minister responsible, the Crown is appealing this.

      Needless to say, we have market rents on State houses, but non-market rents on high country stations………….

  5. Matthew Hooton on Radio New Zealand has tried to justify it on the basis that it is only a teensy weensy bit of land and most of the parkland will be left.

    If you can think of 7,000 hectares as being very little land I guess that you can say this.

    If they try and do this Great Barrier will be ungovernable and will probably cede from New Zealand. Coromandel will be close behind.

    Time for the greens to get a good candidate established in Thames.

    • Janice 5.1

      Matthew Hooton also said that all the protest against Manapouri was useless because the project went ahead anyway and now nobody minds. Talk about spin, from memory the protest was against raising the height of Manapouri not the project. This looks like one of the directions that the spin will take and we need to knock it down every time it puts its head up.

      • lprent 5.1.1

        …from memory the protest was against raising the height of Manapouri not the project

        That is correct.

        The nett effect of the Manapouri debate was that people did mind. I was barely a teenager and not all that interested. However I was rather appalled by the pig-headedness of the way the government pushed that level through despite a reasonably coherent set of arguments for a lower lake level. It fuelled my subsequent support for restricting the sovereign power of the government to ride roughshod over objections from the public.

        In effect the government and the affected businesses during that debate managed to energise the environmental movement in NZ. That in turn led to legislation like the Resource Management Act a generation later. Walking all over public opinion in the short term without carrying them with you (especially amongst activists) has some nasty effects for subsequent attempts to act the bully.

        For me, it is why the select committee process is so damn important, even if that idiot Brownlee doesn’t like it.

        Hooten is just being stupid spin-doctor when he says that the Manapouri debate didn’t have an effect.

      • toad 5.1.2

        Save Aramoana” might be a better analogy!

    • toad 5.2

      Catherine Delahunty moved back to the Coromandel about a year ago. Given her past credentials with Coromandel Watchdog, I can’t imagine a better candidate, mickey.

    • Jum 5.3

      excellent idea. This time they do need to stand a candidate in many electorates. Word should be going out now.

      • toad 5.3.1

        Now, if Labour could be persuaded to do a deal with the Greens in Coromandel – perhaps in return for the Greens not standing anyone in ÅŒhariu to give Charles Chauvel the inside running over Peter Dunhill.

  6. Bored 6

    A bunch of us fought to save the Canterbury riverbed birds during the late 70s early 80’s (we lost in due process: paradoxically we won when Dodgy Rogers user pays regime stopped the unholy alliance of Ministry of Waste and Destruction and Federated Farmers when they could no longer guarantee tax payer funding from Muldoon).

    The point about losing was you find out that:

    1. Small feathery things being alive are of little consequence to Joe Average who needs work and views the world as a resource to be exploited (and bugger any animal that is in the way).
    2. The power that corporate entities can bring to bear against groups of individuals who also have to earn wages is immense: it’s very dangerous to your employment prospects to be seen to be sticking your head above the parapet.
    3. You easily get marginalized politically and accused by the media of being a bunch of mad radical sandal wearing Luddites or similar (this is the problem the Greens have). Consequently your message is not taken seriously.

    What is able to be confidently stated is that if the environmental message is not getting through due to the above we can expect to see an escalation of activism. It will begin with property; I have no faith it will stop there.

  7. tsmithfield 7

    I think you’re all working yourself up into a lather a bit unnecessarily over this and the tax change debate that has been going on. Using leaked information as your source means you’re probably being drawn into the political game. The aim of the leak is likely to achieve this very effect and then have everyone breathing a sigh of relief when what actually comes out is nowhere near as severe.

    • Pascal's bookie 7.1

      Possibly, depends on the source of the leak though, which is unknown. Unless you have something to share?

    • lprent 7.2

      In the absence of information AND a strongly undemocratic government what do you expect. If this government acted responsibly then you’d find that people will wait for the official information.

      However we have a government that does not believe in following due process. That believes in pushing legislation through

      Without public consultation (ie put through everything under urgency without select committee)
      or
      Having sham ‘consultations’ with hand-picked minions (Anne Tolley in particular)
      or
      Allowing minimal time to prepare submissions for select committee
      or
      Just ignoring everything put to a select committee
      or
      Any combinations of the above.

      Moreover, they usually screw up the legislation. By the looks of this parliaments passed acts, the legislature and courts are going to be trying to close holes in their crap legislation for the next decade. In the meantime they’re destroying valuable institutions because they appear to be too stupid to listen.

      Just another National government…. You have to preempt them so you minimise how much they can screw up because they do all effective ‘consultations’ behind closed doors with their contributors – without getting public feedback. The only effective weapon is mobilise public opinion before they crap all over our country.

  8. Jum 8

    So if, eg the mining coy’s fortunes turned to custard, and we know how easy it is to hide money overseas (or in John Key’s financial hub) then the coy just goes into liquidation and NZers foot the bill and wear the humiliation of a lost nirvana.

  9. Zaphod Beeblebrox 9

    What does the Auckland Central local member say about mining Great Barrier? Wonder how much time she will be spending up there if they start minng 7000 Ha of her electorate?

    • sk 9.1

      Or DPF for that matter, who at the end of last year included photos from his fanstastic weekend on the Barrier.

  10. randal 10

    this is politics is it not?
    so who gains from opening up the national parks?
    all the national party supporters with a bulldozer perhaps?

  11. tc 11

    Yes Jum, and that’s just one of the many scenarios that fails to deliver the billions that Nat want everyone to believe will save us all from economic doom.

    Unless you can see a well run NZ owned mining company operating whatever they licence the jobs will be few as mechanisation in mining has removed alot of labour and the profits will flow offshore to their owners……that’s if we have a sizeable orebody, a very huge if.

    Works for Oz as they have Oz companies mining so profits to Oz shareholders (self managed super funds etc) and they have such levies as a gold tax on all production to clip the ticket for locals oh and they also mine in the desert not in tourist attractions.

    • Jum 11.1

      TC Has anyone actually mentioned in a countrywide way that Australia’s mining companies do the mining, not some foreign plunderer and explained in words of one syllable that this severely cuts into the profits NZ can expect from mining ventures.

  12. randal 12

    hey felix of course the national parks are open.
    but how long before they put a booking fee on compulsory bulldozer rides for the idiotes who cant go anywhere without the noise of some sort of engine going brrrm brrm brrrm inthe background.
    it seems like they are addicted to consuming oil and dont care what gets in the way of using gasoline to provide the cheap thrill of a throb between the legs.
    gouging and hacking at the same time just makes it so much better.

  13. Peter Johns 13

    We will be a poor nation soon relying on tourism. You lefties have no idea to get us out of the financial hole we are getting into. You can’t keep raising money without producing anything. Milk is not the ttal answer either. Saying the Greens are the answer says it all, people want jobs, however you lot are against job creation.

    • toad 13.1

      I can’t let that one go Peter. The Greens are the only party that has any coherent job creation policy.

      There are stuff all jobs in mining these days – this is not the 1930s with “hundreds of men down pit” (contracting nasty respiratory diseases).

    • Zaphod Beeblebrox 13.2

      Yeah but tourism doesn’t leave behind heavy metal poisons and toxic tailings dams to be maintained (probably by the state or the Auckland Council in the case of Great Barrier) for the next 50,000 years once the miners move on.

      In the case of NT and WA BHP only had a few dispossessed aboriginals to dump their crap on- not sure the Great Barrier residents will be so dis-organised. Last time I saw BHP, Rio and Western Mining were not NZ owned anyway so how is giving away to foreign miners going to help our situation anyway.

      The solutions surely lie in exploiting our unique assets not trying to become the Easter Islanders or Nauruans of the 21st century.

  14. Peter Johns 14

    Toad – greens job policy is to create jobs from taxes. Green jobs are not the answer either, they rely on subsidies, and who pays for this, the tax payer does. Not very sustainable is it. Also, the only reason alternatives are used bc of subsidies in lots of cases. In Spain for every Green Job produced 2.2 jobs were lost elsewhere. BTW Toad, Greens are irrelavant after the CRU emails and alchemy science that was uncovered.
    Mining creates jobs elsewhere such in the service sector. Companies like Skellerup would get to line rubber rollers that are required for conveyor systems. That is real job creation, no subsidies involved. Shopkeepers will sell more stuff etc. Taxes raised will also keep the benefits going – remember borrowing $240MPW is not suatainable either. After all you always moan about the increasing numbers of unemployed, but you are agains job creation if it does not suit your agenda.
    As for pollution 40 years ago the west started tidying up their act on heavy metals etc. There is no real pollution that is made now days that is not contained and treated properly. There are financial incentives to be good.
    I say dig, dig, dig in moderation, you guys are not happy about this but nothing this govt does is good anyway in your eyes, so bit like boy who calls wolf.

  15. toad 15

    Okay, not worth wasting my time debating with anyone who harps on about the CRU emails and “alchemy science” – I’ll just refer you to Michael Mann!. Listen carefully.

    • Peter Johns 15.1

      Listening to Mike Mann is like Hitler & Stalin saying they were not mass murderers. He is part of the core of the scandle. Mann is a A+ bullshit artist and to rely on his version of Junk Science is total fallicy. His data like Briffa, Jones et al is not worth a pinch of shit.

      [lprent: Yeah right. And you’re a all-knowing saint of science. Of course you don’t have any evidence, just a whole pile of out of context garbage that is completely meaningless just like any number of the idiot CCDs. FFS the only thing I’ve ever seen you dickheads ever criticise Mann for was for something written in the early 1990’s. It appears that you’ve never bothered dealing with any science since then. You are just pathetic. ]

      • Peter Johns 15.1.1

        What Mann wrote in 1998 MBH98 has been shown to be rather suspect. You just cannot accept people with the opposite view to yourself.

        BTW, I have a patent in chemistry involving palladium catalysts. This would have to have been mined but it helps in the control of skin disorders. That is central to this subject.

        Like I was saying before Mann is dis-credited big time but you and your flock of Emus still have your head in the sand over CRU etc. The world does not care about AGW anymore, the sheeple have seen through this in a great degree over the past few months. People are more concerned about jobs than AGW, a cyclic event anyway.

        [lprent: That was from research that was from the early 90’s. You know the timelags on the reports are rather long, typically about 5 years. What he wrote then hasn’t been ‘discredited’, it has been modified by having more accurate data. For some strange reason you work on a double standard… When talking on mining you say below…

        Years ago a lot of this stuff was put down the drain as laws said you could, but things have tightened in the past 30 years.

        The reason why was that they kept finding more and more bad effects from dumping this crud into the environment as more accurate data was accumulated. So the policy and law were changed.

        However in your usual moronic pig-headed style, you don’t apply exactly the same changes in understanding to the collection of more accurate data in a different area of science.

        Tell me, is this apparent level of stupidity due to heavy metal toxicity – or did it come naturally.. ]

    • TightyRighty 15.2

      got a transcript of that toad? so that we can check his sources, rather than just believing him in a little fireside chat.

  16. tc 16

    Dunno what planet PJ’s on but it aint this one. “There is no real pollution that is made now days that is not contained and treated properly…”
    gosh I must’ve missed the sudden transformation of Aresnic/Cyanide etc into easily treated by products casting aside their previous nasty properties….let’s hear it for arsenic and cyanide people, reformed at last.
    That’s as hilarious as sideshow John’s surgical mining claim….just a wafer thin hole misseur.

    • Peter Johns 16.1

      TC -a simple chemistry lesson for you. In a previous life I worked in haz waste treatment 10 years ago in East Tamaki.
      1. Cyanide – easily treated with hypochlorite/Janola to produce non hazardous by products like carbonates. I used to use cyanide in the lab and as long as you did not ingest it or add to acid you were fine. We added hypo to the CN- infected stuff to neutralise it. Tailings dams at mines treat the water to ery low levels of CN these days.
      2. Aresnic is from the ground already, it is easily treated with bases such as lime to give a solid product. This is allowed to be disposed at landfills like the ones in Redvale, north of Auckland. Very low leachability when treated properly. The lime used to come from BOC which was a waste stream from making acytelyne, so a nice way to recycle stuff. Years ago a lot of this stuff was put down the drain as laws said you could, but things have tightened in the past 30 years.
      Main waste streams for CN was metal processing and As was timber treatment plants. Shall we close these people down as well?

      • toad 16.1.1

        Okay, so you’re a chemistry whiz Peter. Problem is that most of this (apart from the rate of atmospheric oxidation of methane and nitrous oxide) is physics.

        Here’s a starter for 10: Do molecules with dipole moments such as those of gaseous carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide emit heat when bombarded by infra-red radiation?

      • Zaphod Beeblebrox 16.1.2

        I’ve seen cattle die from CN poisoning in the Vic Goldfields, though I agree it won’t be a long term issue (after twenty years). What will be are the other heavy metals. What about the tailings dam left behind? Where do you think you can dispose of that in a high rainfall area like Great Barrier? Do you think the miners will pay to take care of the groundwater sepage ad infinitum? Or do you expect the taxpayer to foot the bill?

        If not , how economic do you envisage all this would be? I’m guessing this is a poltical sop to make the govt look like it has some sort of plan- I’ve got my doubts as to how much you can make out of royalties. Its not like the Pilbarra where huge amounts of minerals are ready to be shovelled up and no-body lives there.

  17. tc 17

    Not doubting the chemistry but it’s all in a sludge in a massive tailings Dam so how’s that surgical mining looking now after you attach all that to the big open body of water to process it and then send it somewhere….after you’ve carted in all that product to treat it in the first place.

    I’ll ignore the fact these dams kill many native birds etc who can’t detect the chemicals and we’ll assume the cost of doing this still keeps the mine internationally competitive, oh and all the other chemicals can be treated easily.

    That’s why mining thrives in the desert….not much to bugger up that anyone cares about.

  18. WC 18

    It looks like Key’s approach will be to market New Zealand’s modified National Parks at a different tourist market: http://weeklycoitus.co.nz/?p=855

    Might work?

  19. tc 19

    Absolutely WC, you can’t move in outback WA for all the tourists clamouring for a picture of such wonders as the Superpit.

    • WC 19.1

      The only real worry is whether New Zealand has the ghost town infrastructure to cope with the influx of tourists wanting to see our magnificent holes in the ground. Everything else is ‘hysteria’.

  20. Pascal's bookie 20

    All very interesting stuff about the chemicals and wotnot. Very relevant for any discussion about digging a mine somewhere/anywhere.

    The point though, is that there are some lands that have intrinsic values such that we shouldn’t mine there. This is a widely accepted view. Even the boosters of this current madness say that they don’t intend to dig up the important bits.

    The way, the only way, to protect the intrinsic values of these bits of land is through legislation. That legislation though, by itself, can’t do it. Any piece of legislation can be repealed or watered down. The defence of all those lands rests on the integrity of the legislation protecting them.

    Any argument about under what conditions we might find it acceptable to mine the lands protected by the legislation designed to prevent mining, utterly and irrevocably breaches that integrity. Once it is granted that lands protected by the legislation can in fact sometimes be mined, then the legislation is worthless, and there is nothing to protect any of the lands.

    The best way to lose this argument is to keep discussing the conditions of sale.

    Reject the fucking premiss people.

    Every time.

  21. Bored 21

    The latest in the Herald .Jonkey thinks that there is \’too much hysteria\’ about mining in National parks ..the guys not just a pillock, he is an arrogant dipstick.

    • Pascal's bookie 21.1

      Shorter John Keyhole:

      The bloody media should just shut up. We haven’t worked our spin out yet. When we’ve worked out our spin, we’ll tell the media, and they can pass it on.

  22. tsmithfield 22

    Earlier I said: “I think you’re all working yourself up into a lather a bit unnecessarily over this and the tax change debate that has been going on. Using leaked information as your source means you’re probably being drawn into the political game. The aim of the leak is likely to achieve this very effect and then have everyone breathing a sigh of relief when what actually comes out is nowhere near as severe.”

    See, I told you so, judging by Key on the news tonight.. Everyone who has been getting hysterical has been played. What comes out in the wash is going to be a lot less severe, and the huge sigh of relief will make the revised proposals palatable to the masses. Probably what they wanted in the first place all along.

    • Pascal's bookie 22.1

      He didn’t deny it, or call it ridiculous, he just said the media was scaring people and they should shut up till the govt’s got it’s lines all ready.

      • Red Rosa 22.1.1

        Got it in one, PB. TV1 at 6 pm had JK say this, practically line for line!

        • Bored 22.1.1.1

          TS up yours big time, human induced species extinction comes back to bollock brained thinking by idiots like you. Dont you get it, its not about left or right, its about life. Whats not to get worked up about? Fool.

      • lprent 22.1.2

        In other words, spoiling the governments ‘surprise’ as they rush legislation through.

        Bearing in mind this governments appalling record of ‘consulting’ with the public, and the disinformation processes that preceded them (and the place the John Key plays in that strategy).. Then John Key has just confirmed that we should be worried.

        But this was all foretold to you earlier. I guess you’re not listening (just like this government)…

    • But TS this is becoming a pattern.

      It goes like this:

      1. PM/Minister floats really stupid weird idea.
      2. General uprising.
      3. PM/Minister backs off and denies that it is policy.

      The alternative goes like this:

      1. PM/Minister floats really stupid weird idea that is important to its financial backers.
      2. The population misses it because it was released just before Christmas or is missed by the MSM
      3. PM/Minister drives it through until the opposition manages to raise overwhelming dissent.

      So we have a government that will propose stupid stuff and then back off or raise stupid stuff supported by its backers and try to drive it through.

      Either way the policy development sucks. Lefties are being run ragged trying to persuade this mob that some of their ideas are, well, stupid, and other ideas that have the backing of their wealthy supporters are insane. We are winning some of the first battles but none of the second.

      Key is Sideshow John, designed to divert our attention from the inmates in charge of the asylum …

  23. tsmithfield 23

    Yeh, but they also suggested that they would be including less sensitive land in their focus, suggesting a move away from the more extreme position. Heck, if it was me, I would have started by proposing to open a mine at mount Cook as my opening gambit!!

    • Pascal's bookie 23.1

      He said they wouldn’t be looking at schedule 4 land did he?

      If not then it’s just the same old bullshit son. I’m not buying it.

  24. tsmithfield 24

    Bored “TS up yours big time, human induced species extinction comes back to bollock brained thinking by idiots like you. Dont you get it, its not about left or right, its about life. Whats not to get worked up about? Fool.”

    Well, you certainly seem worked up in an irrational sort of way. I don’t mind getting worked up either. However, I’d prefer to get worked up about what I knew to be facts rather than some leak that is most likely put out for PR purposes.

    • Pascal's bookie 24.1

      The fact is they are talking about mining what are now schedule 4 lands. If they do that, then being in s4 is no protection.

      So what protects a bit of NZ you’d like your grandkids to be able to enjoy?

      Nothing.

      That’s what.

  25. tsmithfield 25

    From what I heard on the news, there are already 82 consents for mining conservation (I believe schedule 4) land. The world hasn’t come to an end. If any such work is isolated, surgical, and remedied afterwards, then I don’t see such a big problem.

    • Pascal's bookie 25.1

      “you believe” huh.

      care to check? Or are you are you now unconcerned about the facts when pushing lines for pr purposes.

      And you didn’t answer the question.

      If being in s4 doesn’t protect our most valuable natural heritage areas from mining, then what does?

    • Pascal's bookie 25.2

      “If any such work is isolated, surgical, and remedied afterwards, then I don’t see such a big problem.”

      And just to demolish this nonsense, surgical keyhole mining of this description is actually allowed on s4 land. So we know that’s not what they’ve got in mind because they need to remove the land from s4 in order to do what they want.

    • Michael Foxglove 25.3

      Nice one ts. Love it when you right-wing jokers “believe” something to be true. Mining on schedule 4 land is prohibited, hence the current argument.

      You “believe” in capitalism as well?

  26. tsmithfield 26

    Pascal “care to check? Or are you are you now unconcerned about the facts when pushing lines for pr purposes.”

    Just going from what I remember seeing on TV. Didn’t want to be too emphatic about something I couldn’t verify.

    I am going to reserve my judgement until I see what comes out in the discussion document. I suspect it will be considerably watered down by then.

    I actually like the idea of companies who gain permits for doing this sort of stuff being required, as part of mitigation, to provide a similar sized area to the one they wish to mine and plant it out with the same type of trees etc as the land they will be using and provide it to the conservation department prior to starting the work. Then when the work is finished, they have to fill the excavated area back in, or contour it in a natural way if refilling is not possible. Then replant that area as well. Then net result is that the conservation estate eventually increases rather than decreases.

    For the record, I don’t support open-cast mining on s4 land, and I don’t think it will happen.

    • Michael Foxglove 26.1

      “Just going from what I remember seeing on TV.”

      Well, you’re wrong.

      Fool.

    • Pascal's bookie 26.2

      Fair enough.

      The way I see it though, once the principle is set that land can be removed from s4 simply because ‘we did a stocktake and found some stuff’, then there is nothing stopping open-cast mining on currently protected land.

      Once the integrity of s4 protection is breached, it’s breached. We are talking about around 14-16 % of our country. That leaves most of it available outside s4. So why the focus on that land other than to set the precedent? Can it really be that s4 land purle by coincidence has all the minerals? Or is it that it’s cheaper to mine there because it’s not privately held?

    • Zaphod Beeblebrox 26.3

      If it were going to happen it would have already happened by now. Too many problems. I’d be all for it if they showed they could do it responsibly and by NZ companies who care about this country (ie not Australians with appalling environmental records). But they haven’t and they won’t- which is really telling.

  27. tsmithfield 27

    Michael “Well, you’re wrong.

    Fool.”

    Sticks and stones. Says more about you than me.

  28. tsmithfield 28

    Pascal’s bookie: “The way I see it though, once the principle is set that land can be removed from s4 simply because ‘we did a stocktake and found some stuff’, then there is nothing stopping open-cast mining on currently protected land.”

    I really don’t think you need to worry. It would be politically untenable to seriously propose to allow open-cast mining in ecologically important areas. Thats why I think it is all just part of the political gamesmanship to open up this line of discussion. I stand to be proven wrong, but I think the reality will be much more mild than what people fear. National are probably trying to paint themselves as a party that listens to public opinion by proposing some radical, untenable ideas and then backing down when the protests mount.

    • Pascal's bookie 28.1

      What is politically tenable is a movable feast. The way it moves is through incremental changes. Once the integrity of s4 is breached, further breaches become more tenable.

      These lands are protected (according to the legislation) for their intrinsic value. That’s not their prettiness, or their value for tourism or any other extrinsic detail. They are protected as things in and of themselves. They are ends, not means. This whole discussion shifts that. That’s why it’s so dangerous. That’s the move that the political games you percieve are achieving.

      Once that bed gets shat, it can’t easily be unshat.

      On the poitical tactic angle, there is also an imporatan and necessary counter tactic. When the govt runs crap like this as distraction or whatever, the strength of the response to it determines (or at least influences) the govt’s end position. If there was no response, why would the govt fall back? The harder the response, the further they fall back.

      But like I’ve said, my personal position is that the land should have it’s intrinsic value protected. At the most, they should comply with s4 regulations. I don’t think locking up circa 15% of the countrty is an extrenme position. I think the extremists are those that say no land should have it’s extrinsic value protected by legislation with integrity.

  29. bobo 29

    Was the mining on Great Barrier just a diversion so they can say look we are not planning to mine there now then go for land they always wanted , spinning it as a compromise watered down deal.. A bit like the pretending to consider a land tax then bringing in the gst as the “lesser option”.

    • Pascal's bookie 29.1

      Doesn’t matter.

      What matters is the precedent set for removing land from s4. That precedent will then exist for Great Barrier, Central Otago, Tasman and everywhere else.

  30. tsmithfield 30

    bobo: “Was the mining on Great Barrier just a diversion so they can say look we are not planning to mine there now then go for land they always wanted , spinning it as a compromise watered down deal.. A bit like the pretending to consider a land tax then bringing in the gst as the “lesser option’.”

    I think so. Thats politics.

    • Pascal's bookie 30.1

      Maybe. On 3news they talked to locals who reported seeing people sniffing around though.

    • Bored 30.2

      TS, I think he is accurate, it says everything about you. Being a creepy bigotted troll is one thing, being a fool is another altogether. You do it so well.

  31. tsmithfield 31

    I’ll bet you a virtual beer that any thought of open cast mining of s4 land will be taken off the agenda.

  32. Jum 32

    TC Has anyone actually mentioned in a countrywide way that Australia’s mining companies do the mining, not some foreign plunderer and explained in words of one syllable that this severely cuts into the profits NZ can expect from mining ventures.

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