Nats to pay miners to dig up national parks

Written By: - Date published: 9:37 am, March 17th, 2010 - 14 comments
Categories: Conservation, Mining - Tags: , ,

During Question Time yesterday, Metiria Turei exposed National’s plan to subsidise mineral exploration by foreign companies in the most important parts of our national parks.

John Key refused to confirm Turei’s information but couldn’t deny it. Clearly, the Nats had been planning to slip it through in the Budget unnoticed.

Metiria Turei: Can the Prime Minister confirm that his Government is planning a $4 million subsidy for the mining industry to survey Kahurangi National Park, Mount Aspiring National Park, and Rakiura National Park on Stewart Island?

Hon JOHN KEY: I am not in a position to confirm that at this time

You’ve got to ask what’s in it for New Zealand? If these minerals are so valuable why do we need to offer a $4 million bribe so that foreign companies can come in and dig up our most precious natural environments?

14 comments on “Nats to pay miners to dig up national parks”

  1. Lanthanide 1

    This whole mining business seems a bit strange to me.

    When challenged on the national standards, National always replies that they “had a mandate” because this was part of their election policy. When told that most people weren’t aware of this policy, and probably voted them in just for the tax cuts, they replied by saying “well whenever you vote in a party, you get all of their policies, even if you didn’t agree with some of them”.

    However they never mentioned any of this mining stuff prior to the election, so surely they have no mandate to do it? Just like they said they definitely wouldn’t raise GST, so they have no mandate to do that either. Yet they do it anyway. So claiming they have “a mandate” to implement national standards is actually not a reason at all, because they do other (much bigger things) without any mandate whatsoever.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.1

      For National it was always about the power of being in government. This was made clear in the Hollow Men where the saying that National was working on was something like “Promise whatever to the public to get elected and then do what WE want to do” the implication being that what they wanted didn’t have anything to do with what they promised.

  2. freedom 2

    Is there anything we can legally do to challenge the continued authority of this Government?
    At the rate they are going we will be in a very bad way when the election rolls around.
    Is there any way to save New Zealand?

    • Lanthanide 2.1

      NZ has no provision of recall by the public. If there was found to be gross incompetence or corruption or somesuch, the governer general could probably step in. Or if parliament became hung and unable to pass any legislation (eg Act and Maori party broke their agreements on supply and confidence) then it could be dissolved.

      But otherwise there’s nothing the average NZ can do except wait for next year.

      • Watermelon 2.1.1

        Can we petition the Queen? Are there any obscure laws that would have come from being a colony of the British empire? Magna Carta etc?

        I guess if someone somehow managed to get a petition with 2 million signatures attached to it, we might see something happen. Would be a laugh, “2 million Kiwis think you are useless John…”

        Shush, let me enjoy my wet dream.

      • Bill 2.1.2

        The legal entity of NZ might not have a mechanism or provision allowing for a public recall of government ministers.

        But that does not mean that we (the public) have no mechanisms that would facilitate recall at our disposal.

        We could start with petitions, demonstrations, and strikes. We could escalate to a general strike. We could further escalate to dispensing with the current levers of power altogether.

        Or you convince the government that threats to bring about the above are very real and uncontainable. Then they back down and sit down and become very keen to talk and accommodate.

        But that involves a popular movement. And popular movements are built over time and sustained across issues and time. But every time there is a nascent popular movement in NZ, along comes the predictable sections of the left to demarcate it, limit it and exercise control over it; ultimately sending its various constituents running for the hills.

        Just saying.

        • Bored

          I like your inclination to action Bill, but it will require the “dozytariet” to awake, shake lose their mental chains and leave their TV sets and aspirational armchairs. They dont believe in the apocalypse or similar events, but should these tribulations occur John Key has assured them that the new restructured TVNZ will bring the whole event to them on free to air (delayed of course).

          Myself, I shall wander the bush in the certain knowledge that nobody else will be there as I torch the miners bull dozers. As an alabi I shall then retreat poste haste to the TV to see (delayed) coverage of my “terrorist” action, claiming to have been in my aspirational armchair (working out tax avoidance rorts) all the time.

  3. Shona 3

    Couldn’t agree more freedom! Been my foremost concern ever since they were voted in. Thanks to the Standard i have accurate stats that i sprinkle into my daily conversations and never let people forget how selfish, short sighted and gullible they’ve been in voting these thieves in.There are alot of frightened people out there.

  4. toad 4

    To be fair to TV3 and NZPA, they have covered the story, Marty:

    Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei wanted confirmation that the Government was going to give the mining industry a $4 million subsidy to survey Kahurangi, Mt Aspiring and Rakiura national parks for minerals.

    Mr Key said he wasn’t in a position to confirm that at this stage.

    Ms Turei said the Government was delaying its decisions.

    “Week after week the prime minister is torturing himself and the public with his shifting rhetoric about balancing the environment against the economy,” she said.

    “There is no way to `balance’ permanently destroying our last remaining wild places against a short-term, one-off gain for foreign mining companies.”

  5. freedom 5

    well done, i just wanted to check that NZ had not forgotten that people do have power.
    There are many ways to stop a popular movement, and National know them all.
    The important bit is that the popular movement actually starts in the first place.

    this is your responsibility as a free citizen.
    talk to your family, friends, co-workers, the farmer, the telemarketer, the shop assistant, the policeman, the electrician, the organic honey maker. They are every bit as important as you are. Even if you disagree with their lifestyle choices you must begin to protect their rights and abilities to make those choices.

    Ask them if they agree with what the government is doing?
    Don’t accept soundbite answers. Make them think of an actual reaponse. Find ways to relate the issues to their life. Stay away from taxes as subject matter whenever possible. Taxes are always going to be there and always going to be needed and always going to be a problem for many. Do not be weak. Engage people every day. People are asleep and only aggressive communication can awaken them.

    As a starter, give up one hour of TV a week and spend it talking to those near you or far away, about the realites of today. Blogs are fun but the world will survive without them. Your future and your children’s future and your neighbour’s future may not survive without your effort to restore democracy in our country. We can affect real change but it requires real effort

    • Bored 5.1

      I have little faith that the “dozytariet” actually want to do anything for themselves like participate in democracy. Your sentiments are admirable, but 35 years of activist activites now lend me to more direct action. Lenin worked through the same issue by decidng that people would only act in concert if things got really bad…so make them worse. Osama got a big impact with an aeroplane or three to make his point…but Gandhi did best by being at the centre of the frontline setting an example, leading the news, forcing the debate (and by not being a violent twerp).

      • freedom 5.1.1

        you will notice all my suggestions are non-violent and i hope always will be. but do not forget anger is a very powerful force. it is all the more powerful without violence

        p.s. i think you mean Cheney had some luck with an aeroplane or three to make his point.

  6. tc 6

    There’s a stench about this as exploration’s a licence granted to speculating entities (normally divisions/owned by large mining companies) so WTF do they need a subsidy for ?

    They get first call on any minerals as part of the licence so there’s the risk/reward for them but in the Nat’s world they don’t have to pay to explore so they can’t lose……FFS we’re now subsidising mining !

  7. Rodel 7

    John’s comment was something like ‘we won’t do anything to harm New Zealand’s image……”
    John, oh John.. The point should be ” We won’t do anything to harm New Zealand.”

    Stop living in the world of images Mr Key. Think about the real world.
    But I guess that’s how you get votes …images only.

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