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Full extent of Nats’ mining plans revealed

Written By: - Date published: 9:26 am, April 24th, 2010 - 27 comments
Categories: Conservation, Environment, Mining - Tags:

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.

Radio NZ reports:

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.

27 comments on “Full extent of Nats’ mining plans revealed ”

  1. Ari 1

    One and a half Samoas to be mined under new regulation.

    This is what I want to hear the opposition saying in Parliament.

  2. outofbed 2

    To Mine or Not to Mine: Public Debate

    When:
    Thu, 29/04/2010 – 6:30pm – 8:00pm
    Location:
    St John’s in the City Hall, cnr Willis & Dixon Sts Wellington
    Opposing the proposal to mine in Schedule 4 lands will be Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei, and Forest & Bird Conservation Advocate Quentin Duthie.

    For the affirmative, we will hear from Straterra Spokesperson Chris Baker and Export NZ Executive Director Catherine Beard.

    Wallace Chapman from TVNZ’s Back Benches programme will adjudicate
    I hear Parker is going to be there for Labour but no Tories( funny that)

  3. Bill 3

    Reduced to 7000 hectares in the second draft.

    Which is still utterly unacceptable, but not digging up an area the size Samoa and then some.

    And where is the 90% of Stewart Island in the second draft?

    Questions. What is the point of disingenuous exaggeration or mis-direction on an issue that needs none whatsoever? And what is the point in attempting it when you link to an article that flat stick contradicts the exaggerations?

    This is how you weaken your position and create an environment of shit debate that your opponents can drive bulldozers through.

    • Michael Foxglove 3.1

      Actually Bill, Rakiura is still in the discussion document. We now know how much the Tories are looking at.

      And, to quote myself “In total the Energy and Conservation Ministers wanted to open 467,517 hectares for mining (roughly one and half times the area of Samoa).”

      Past tense you see. But I hear your point, it’s unclear. I’ll add in your first sentence.

  4. Chris 4

    I want Labour to unequivocally and clearly state that the next Labour Government will a) nationalise all mining concessions on Raikura with compensatory payments of 5 cents in the dollar and b) CLOSE DOWN EVERY SINGLE MINE and repatriate the land with costs being paid by the mining companies that opened them.

  5. Ianmac 5

    Being a political cynic, I think that the plan all along was to upset the natives over Coromandel and Great Barrier then appear to back down and only do a little bit like on distant and who cares Stewart Island.
    “We won said the Conservation lobby! Down to 7,000hectares! We won! We saved all those Northen bits!”
    “Yes you won,” said Steven Master of Sleight of Hand Joyce. “How’s that John? Bonus for ole Stevie eh?”

  6. Bill 6

    Brownlee was on Nat Rad saying that they instructed (who?) to ‘get real’ when the 467,517 hectares were tabled….(He signed off why?) And then, in order to protect conservation land and not in response to any public opinion, the figure was revised to 7000 hectares…but not haphazardly, but in a targeted fashion acting on geological information etc….apparently ( wonder where the new targeted info came from and how it managed to be compiled so fast?) . Within the space of a week.

    Who actually carries out the exercise that produces 500 000 hectares or whatever? And under whose instructions are they operating?

    Cause Gerry Boy is making out that the government are defending the conservation estate against these unscrupulous bastards…whoever they might be. Good, innit?

    • Ianmac 6.1

      Yes Bill. We suspect that Nact is vunerable to the winds of Public Opinion and so an unscrupulous politician uses that to appear thoughtful and flexible. Ha! I say leave Stewart Island alone Gerry! Rakiura forever!

  7. todd 7

    I want Labour to unequivocally and clearly state that the next Labour Government will a) nationalise all mining concessions on Raikura with compensatory payments of 5 cents in the dollar and b) CLOSE DOWN EVERY SINGLE MINE and repatriate the land with costs being paid by the mining companies that opened them.

    And sack every worker and throw them on the unemployment

    • RedLogix 7.1

      CLOSE DOWN EVERY SINGLE MINE and repatriate the land with costs being paid by the mining companies that opened them.

      I can empathise with the feeling there todd, however unlikely it is that your wish will be fulfilled.

      On the other hand you do hit on a vital point; that we should only consider new mining, once the industry has cleaned up all of it’s old abandoned mines.

      If they cannot do that, then why on earth should we allow them to dig new ones?

  8. Fisiani 8

    Mining rare elements is an important duty if we have to have 21st technology. The NIMBYism of this blog is nauseating. You can have National Parks and mining co-exist in NZ as they do in other countries.

    • Mac1 8.1

      Fisiani, exempli gratia? “You can have National Parks and mining co-exist in NZ as they do in other countries.”

      In other words, cite references, please. ( Note to self, “Have I been down this track before with this individual?”

    • handle 8.2

      We grow polluting dairy for the rest of the world who produce rare earth elements. It’s called international trade, but nice of you to repeat Gerry’s spin.

  9. Mac1 9

    ah, Fisiani, got you at last. “National” Parks existing with mining. Right!

    Say no more. Nudge Nudge. Wink Wink. Man of the World. Eh? Eh? Know what I mean?

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