The full extent of just how far the Government would like to push mining on conservation land has been revealed in documents obtained by Radio NZ. The documents show the Nats wanted 90% of Rakiura/Stewart Island, which is still on the table, open to mining activities. In total opening 467,517 hectares for mining were initially signed off for mining (roughly one and half times the area of Samoa).
In the final discussion document this was reduced to 7000 hectares. What’s telling however is that the final document did not say how much land in Rakiura the Government was looking at. Now, we know.
The first draft, signed off by Energy Minister Gerry Brownlee and Conservation Minister Kate Wilkinson on 12 February, identified 467,517 hectares for removal from Schedule 4.
It’s scary how much of our National Parks the Key Government wanted to open for mining. What’s even more worrying is that they still haven’t backed off – Rakiura National Park/Stewart Island is still on the table.
Let’s not let John Key get away with desecrating such an important part of our natural heritage.
Update: Updated for clarity as per Bill’s comment.