Save the Denniston Plateau

Written By: - Date published: 1:56 pm, May 23rd, 2013 - 53 comments
Categories: Conservation, Environment, Mining - Tags: ,

Sign the petition: http://forestandbird.org.nz/dennistonpetition

53 comments on “Save the Denniston Plateau”

  1. infused 1

    Nope.

  2. vto 2

    Yep.

    Mine Wellington instead. Is there anything of value there?

  3. TheContrarian 3

    I disagree with mining the Denniston Plateau.

    That said though, we still need to mine for resources so where should we do it and how?

    • Macro 3.1

      We don’t need to be mining for coal – ever again. The maths are simple: we can burn less than 565 more gigatons of carbon dioxide and stay below 2°C of warming — anything more than that risks catastrophe for life on earth. Coal is the worst fossil fuel for CO2 emissions – it needs to stay in the ground.

      • infused 3.1.1

        But it wont. So you might as well make some money off it.

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead 3.1.1.1

          Or on the other hand we could always prevent its removal by any means.

      • TheContrarian 3.1.2

        True. But we do need cooper, zinc, iron etc

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead 3.1.2.1

          The proposal is for an open cast coal mine.

          • TheContrarian 3.1.2.1.1

            I know. Which is why I am against it. But I am also thinking about the necessity of mining itself. Where and how can we do it without resorting to destroying our environment.

            • One Anonymous Knucklehead 3.1.2.1.1.1

              Mining: just under 1% of GDP.

              Tourism: 9% of GDP.

              Just to put things in perspective.

              Source: Wikipedia.

              • Jenny Kirk

                To Contrarian – NZ is probably too small to mine – too close to tourist destinations, too close to where people live, too destructive of the environment. Look at Waihi, Te Aroha, etc. Destructive of the places where people live. Australia is huge and most of their mines are a long way from population centres – the mining towns in Oz grew up around the mines.

                And to add to One Anonymous Knucklehead – employment in NZ mines – about 7000 people total. Direct Employment in tourism 120,000 , more in indirect employment.
                What’s more most of the profits goes into overseas pockets, and there is a very low royalty regime in NZ. The Martha gold mine in Waihi does not pay any royalties at all.

                Mining is a no-brainer. Or – as Rod Oram has put it – a sunset industry.

                This Govt can’t think beyond their overseas rich mates, and they don’t really care about NZ itself.

                • TheContrarian

                  “To Contrarian – NZ is probably too small to mine”

                  Don’t let Draco catch you saying that 🙂

                  Mining cannot ever be a sunset industry though. It’s not like zinc is just floating around in the air.

                  Until such a time as we can harness a supernova we’ll always have to mine somewhere.

                  • Lanthanide

                    With a very cheap source of electrical energy, eg fusion, we could mine ocean water for decades and not make a dent in the total resources.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Mining ocean water is incredibly energy intensive. Regardless of the source of energy (fusion etc) how much waste heat are you willing to pump into the global environment to do so?

                      Also, until someone can demonstrate a sustained 10MWe fusion reactor operating, I see it as being permanently “20 years in the future”.

                    • alwyn

                      CV. I am pleased to see someone who is a little more optimistic about fusion power than I am.
                      For the last 50 years fusion power has always been the promise of the future. Unlimited, virtually free, non-polluting power for the masses. Unfortunately it alwways seems to be 50 years into the future rather than the 20 you are nominating. Personally I don’t expect it for the next hundred years.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      True, I was putting a brave face on it…I suspect you may be more on the money here than I am.

              • freedom

                be great if the Minister of Tourism could have a quiet word to the PM about that

          • infused 3.1.2.1.2

            You’d have the same outlook for any mine.

            • One Anonymous Knucklehead 3.1.2.1.2.1

              Infused, no, I wouldn’t. Gold, for example, is not a fossil fuel.

              • TheContrarian

                Well, say it was gold or another precious or rare metal under Denniston. How could it responsibly be mined?

                • Descendant Of Sssmith

                  Dunno but the world has enough gold – do we need to mine any more.

                  The only reason for mining gold is the artificial value placed on it, same as diamonds.

                  There’s no practical use need for mining either.

      • Paul 3.1.3

        +1
        I guess people like infused don’t have children or grandchildren.
        There are words for people like that.
        Selfish is a mild one.

        • freedom 3.1.3.1

          ummm, Paul, can we change that generalization please?
          I don’t have children or grandchildren, am not considered overly selfish
          but would like to think I am slightly more socially minded than infused

      • andyS 3.1.4

        The coal at Denniston is high grade coking coal used for steel production.

        Unless you can find a commercially viable way to smelt steel then we might be stuck with this for a while

  4. freedom 4

    at times I think people forget how really really small New Zealand is
    and how we do not have the resources to be all things to all parts of the economy for all time
    It is fork in the road time

    Tourism, Science Arts & Culture
    (i.e: healthy ecology, intellectual growth and economic sustainability)

    OR

    Mining & Dairying
    (i.e: short term economic gains for foreigners, ever diminishing resources and ecological death )

    is it really a difficult choice?

    • Yep the day after Queenstown is announced to be the 25th best destination in the world and up the road the Nats want to trash some of the scenery by building an open cast mine …

      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/travel/news/article.cfm?c_id=7&objectid=10885453

      • alwyn 4.1.1

        From that comment about “up the road” I can deduce that you must be an Aucklander, Only someone who regards the “deep south” as being south of the Bombay Hill could be so confused about the geography of the South Island.
        Looking at an old Shell road map the driving time from Queenstown to Westport is given as 12 hours and 40 minutes. As a comparison the time from Auckland to Wellington is given as being 9 hours and 10 minutes.
        I have quite good eyesight but I certainly can’t see Westport from Queenstown and I certainly wouldn’t be bothered about affecting Queenstown by something that goes on just north of Westport.
        Assuming that you are in fact an Aucklander would you bother about how a slip on the Ngauranga Gorge (which is in Wellington by the way) will affect your drive to work in Auckland?
        I have visited Denniston on a number of occasions. The only reason people go there is to see the remains of the old mining operations which were never cleaned up. The new proposal includes the restoration of the land Indeed some conservationists I know are concerned about the new mine proposal because after it is complete the remains of the old mining operations may be removed and the land returned to its pre-mining condition.

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead 4.1.1.1

          the land returned to its pre-mining condition.

          lol, that old chestnut.

          Now, here’s what really happens. When it comes time for “the land to be returned to its pre-mining condition”, the mining company offers to fund some local job-creation scheme instead, and up pops a property developer who says the old mine site would make a great golf course.

      • andyS 4.1.2

        It is not really trashing the scenery. You can’t see the mines unless you go to the plateau and even then it is pretty hard to find the existing ones. dennistion has some mountain bikes tracks where you are unaware of any mining.

        There are other issue like the coal trucks on the road, that have a negative impact. I would say most people in Wstport, where the in laws live, are in favour as it brings in money to the area

    • tamati 4.2

      I don’t see why these two options are mutually exclusive. The Australians have a thriving tourism sector, alongside their mining sector.

      We should protect areas valuable to tourism, but how many tourists head to the Denniston Plateau each year?

      • freedom 4.2.1

        http://www.wcrc.govt.nz/escarpment/hearing/Applicant/Evidence%20of%20Rob%20Greenaway%20-%20Recreation%20and%20Tourism%20Attachments.pdf
        page four has some of the info you are after

        http://www.nationsonline.org/oneworld/countries_by_area.htm
        Australia #6
        NZ #75
        “at times I think people forget how really really small New Zealand is”

        • tamati 4.2.1.1

          I get your point, but surely we can balance the two somewhat?

          It’s not like we are mining in Queenstown or Milford Sound.

          We also have to consider the wages in mining and the energy sector are significantly more than the low skilled jobs in tourism.

          • freedom 4.2.1.1.1

            “We also have to consider the wages in mining and the energy sector are significantly more than the low skilled jobs in tourism.”

            for far fewer people
            for a more limited time
            and most tourism dollars stay in the local economy a lot longer

            But you are right that numbers of visitors are important factors to consider,
            so here is something to ponder:
            Will the expansion in offshore drilling and prospecting currently underway be a good or a bad thing for this very special visitor?
            http://www.niwa.co.nz/news/blue-whales-believed-to-be-foraging-in-south-taranaki-bight

      • Draco T Bastard 4.2.2

        The first set are sustainable – except for tourism as that’s not sustainable either. The second set isn’t especially at the rate that National and their rich mates want.

        For our society to be sustainable it cannot run out of the resources that we use. The way that we’re going though we will run those resources out in the next few decades. At that point our present living standards disappear.

        Now, we can do it sustainably but we have to seriously decrease the amount that we’re actually doing and put in place extremely strict recycling regimes. We also need a hell of a lot more R&D so as to come up with ways and means to minimize or replace use of finite resources such as coal and iron. None of this are we doing, instead we’re going for the 19th century approach of digging it all out as fast as possible and selling it the end result of which will be that we, as a country, will have no wealth whatsoever.

        That’s why I say neither economists nor politicians know anything about economics. They both think it’s all about money but an economy is based entirely upon the resources that we use and if we dig them up and sell them then we don’t have an economy at all.

  5. Clockie 5

    OK signed.

    “paved paradise, put up a parking lot”

    and keep doing it.. forever..

    That’s really going to work well isn’t it?

    • Clockie 5.1

      Buggered if I’m going to waste my life trying to persuade people who know the price of everything and the value of nothing. Some of you pricks would shoot a frikkin unicorn just so you could have it mounted in the foyer of your McMansion.

  6. SpaceMonkey 6

    So… what new law is National going to pass to stop protesters lying in front of diggers and the like as Bathurst “go about their lawful business”?

    • Roflcopter 6.1

      “Make sure you slow down for the judder bars”

    • David H 6.2

      They’ll probably legislate against it, aka the protest at sea act. Under the Premise that it’s dangerous.

  7. ianmac 7

    Done signed.

  8. kahu 8

    I support the mine but must say somewhat surprised coal is still an attractive proposition for anyone. Solid Energy hardly raking it in. However if some Aussie outfit is willing to pump a few million into the West Coast and surrounding areas then why should we stop them? Less than 1% of NZer’s will ever visit Denniston it’s hardly a tourist mecca. I went there years ago and it was a pretty miserable place to be honest.

  9. Paul 9

    Signed.
    With this comment
    “Under this government, we should be ashamed to pretend we are clean and green, Digging up our conservation estate when climate change is a clear and present danger..the greed and stupidity beggars belief. At a time when the world should be keeping fossils fuels in the ground, this disgraceful government wants to dig up every bit of them, even from our most pristine environments.”

  10. Guy 10

    Worst.Government.Ever.

    Where the hell are DoC and MfE? Organisations that have been stripped of their staff that new anything or would dare to ask a question …

  11. The Baron 11

    Surprise surprise, Labour fan kids wanna destroy more working class lives on the West Coast.

    First you lot drove people out of work by destroying the environmentally non-threatening strategic logging of the 90s, driving the loggers and the sawmills out of work. And now it’s the mines – the major employer in the area, at the same time as you all celebrate Solid Energy’s demise.

    People in Buller don’t have a lot of options for work. It’s a poor part of the country full of people who want to work, and work hard, to provide for their families.

    Oh, but only if what they do is ok with you lot of city dwelling Chardonnay socialists huh. Why wouldn’t we mine what is essentially waste land of no conservation value? Why wouldn’t we provide jobs to these families when the options are so very limited.

    Yet another post on the Stranded when a whole pile of ideological idiots mouth off about a real world that none of you clearly inhabit.

    • Jenny Kirk 11.1

      Hang on Baron – Labour put in a substantial fund to replace the logging of native timbers on the West Coast, and guess what – the West Coast has the best employment/economic rate outside of major cities right now.
      Mining is not the answer. MOre sustainable industries are – and tourism is one of them. What’s more, the more tourism grows the better the wages for the people involved.
      Mining in Waihi and Reefton hasn’t produced the goods for the local people : they’re well below the income levels for the rest of their regions.

    • NickS 11.2

      environmentally non-threatening strategic logging

      [Citation Needed]*

      Old growth trees actually provide very valuable nesting sites and dead trees, both standing and fallen, serve as habitat for a wide variety of organisms, along with providing carbon stores via lignin in the soil as they decompose. And that’s even starting on the issues with red-beech and native podocarps taking a century or more to mature to economically harvestable sizes, nor edge effects from logging roads on forest disturbance.

      ____________________________
      *Use google scholar, most articles should be freely available and please note that all articles should be focused on NZ red/black beech and mixed angiosperm-podocarp hardwood forests found on the West Coast as forest structures in NZ are rather different than US/Canada.

  12. Benjamin B. 12

    With due respect, the petition is going to achieve the grand total of nothing. The miners and the government are not going to care about a few web-accessible bytes. Something more visible is needed.

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    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    1 week ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Air New Zealand identifies this enormous plot of unused land as possible second airport site
    Air New Zealand couldn’t believe its luck that this seemingly ideal piece of real estate had so far gone entirely unnoticed. Air New Zealand’s search for a site to build a second Auckland Airport may have made a breakthrough this afternoon, after employees scanning Google satellite imagery spotted a huge, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested interests in Labourism – often for career reasons. Nevertheless, there ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s failure
    When National was in government and fucking over the poor for the benefit of the rich, foodbanks were a growth industry. And now Labour is in charge, nothing has changed: A huge demand for emergency food parcels means the Auckland City Mission is struggling to prepare for the impending arrival ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Ardern attempts to vaccinate Clarke Gayford live on television to prove that it’s safe
    Gayford, pictured here on The Project, before things got wildly out of control. A bold public relations move by the Government to encourage parents to vaccinate their children has gone horribly wrong. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared on tonight’s episode of Three’s The Project, where the plan was for her ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Has Mr. Whippy gone too far by parking on our front lawns?
    Mr. Whippy’s business model has driven it down a dark road of intimidation. Residents in major centres around the country are becoming disgruntled by the increasingly aggressive actions of purported ice cream company Mr. Whippy, who have taken to parking on people’s front lawns and doorsteps in a desperate attempt ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Cleaning up the water
    Today the government released its Action Plan for Healthy Waterways, aimed at cleaning up our lakes and rivers. Its actually quite good. There will be protection for wetlands, better standards for swimming spots, a requirement for continuous improvement, and better standards for wastewater and stormwater. But most importantly, there's a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Fronting up
    Today I appeared before the Environment Committee to give an oral submission on the Zero Carbon Bill. Over 1,500 people have asked to appear in person, so they've divided into subcommittees and are off touring the country, giving people a five minute slot each. The other submitters were a mixed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
    Anti-fluoride activists have some wealthy backers – they are erecting billboards misrepresenting the Canadian study on many New Zealand cities – and local authorities are ordering their removal because of their scaremongering. Many New Zealanders ...
    1 week ago
  • Democracy – I Don’t Think So
    So, those who “know best” have again done their worst. While constantly claiming to be the guardians of democracy and the constitution, and respecters of the 2016 referendum result, diehard Remainers (who have never brought themselves to believe that their advice could have been rejected) have striven might and main ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Government says it will now build just one really nice home
    Following publication of this article, the Ministry has requested it to be noted that this supplied image is not necessarily representative of what the final house will look like, and it “probably won’t be that nice.” As part of today’s long-anticipated reset of the Government’s flagship KiwiBuild policy, Housing Minister ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Imperialism and your cup of coffee
    Over the next week or two we will be running three synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016).  The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Marx began Capital not with a sweeping historical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Still juking the stats
    The State Services Commission and Ombudsman have released another batch of OIA statistics, covering the last six months. Request volumes are up, and the core public service is generally handling them within the legal timeframe, though this may be because they've learned to extend rather than just ignore things. And ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Time for a New Deal: 25 years on
    In 1994, I was editing an ambitious street mag called Planet, from a fabled office at at 309 Karangahape Road. The thirteenth issue of the magazine was published in the winter of that year and its cover embodied a particularly ambitious goal: the end of cannabis prohibition.I wanted to do ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Not impressed
    KiwiBuild was one of the Ardern government's core policies. The government would end the housing crisis and make housing affordable again by building 100,000 new homes. Of course, it didn't work out like that: targets weren't met, the houses they did build were in the wrong place, and the whole ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Solar beats coal
    As the climate crisis escalates, it is now obvious that we need to radically decarbonise our economy. The good news is that its looking easy and profitable for the energy sector. Wind is already cheaper than fossil fuels, and now solar is too:The levellised cost of solar PV has fallen ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • A Step Too Far.
    A Crown Asset? For reasons relating to its own political convenience, the Crown pretends to believe that “No one owns the water.” To say otherwise would re-vivify the promises contained in the Treaty of Waitangi – most particularly those pertaining to the power of the chiefs and their proprietary rights ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Where Money Comes From
    Most people would say, no doubt, that they have a pretty good idea of what money is. They live with the reality of money every day. It is what is needed to buy the necessities of life and to maintain a decent standard of living. You get money, they would ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Banned by the Green Party leadership: Jill Abigail on women’s rights and trans rights
    The article below was an opinion piece that appeared in the Spring 2019 issue of Te Awa (the NZ Green Party’s newsletter) and on the Greens website.  In keeping with their policy of hostility to women defending women’s right to female-only spaces, Green bureaucrats have since removed the opinion piece.  ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The fallacy of the proximity argument.
    Longer term readers may remember my complaining that, as a political scientist, it is burdensome to have non-political scientists wanting to engage me about politics. No layperson would think to approach an astrophysicist and lecture him/her on the finer details of quarks and black holes, but everybody with an opinion ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Where We Stood: Chris Trotter Replies To Stevan Eldred-Grigg.
    Joining The Fight: Stevan Eldred-Grigg's argument for New Zealand staying out of the Second World War fails not only on the hard-headed grounds of preserving the country’s strategic and economic interests; and not just on the soft-hearted grounds of duty and loyalty to the nation that had given New Zealand ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Universities back the climate strike
    On September 27, School Strike 4 Climate will be striking for a future to pressure the government for meaningful climate action. This time, they've asked adults to join them. And now, Lincoln University and Victoria University of Wellington have signed on:Victoria University of Wellington has joined Lincoln University in endorsing ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Another constitutional outrage
    Another day, another constitutional outrage in the UK. This time, the government is saying that if parliament passes a law to stop Brexit before being prorogued, they may just ignore it:A senior cabinet minister has suggested Boris Johnson could defy legislation to prevent a no-deal Brexit if it is forced ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ending dairy in Canterbury
    Environment Canterbury has finally proposed nitrogen limits to stop dairy farmers from poisoning Christchurch's water supply. And naturally, farmers are whining about it:A proposed move by Environment Canterbury (ECan) to protect Christchurch's drinking water by setting tough – some would say, draconian – nitrate reductions in the decades ahead and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Is National the party of climate arson?
    The Zero Carbon Bill is currently before select committee. While its targets are weak, its a generally sensible bill that promises to establish a long-term framework to guide emissions reductions. But National hasn't made up its mind on whether it will support it - and according to Andrea Vance in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Experts warn Harold the Giraffe “well past” typical giraffe life expectancy, may not have long
    Dum-de-doo. Children across New Zealand have known him for generations as the lovable giraffe who tells them to exercise, hydrate and not to shove lit cigarettes up their nostrils. But a world renowned giraffe expert says we shouldn’t be getting attached to Life Education’s Harold the Giraffe, as he is ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • August ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: 22 BLOGGERS WITH ADVICE FOR RESEARCHERS AND EVALUATORS, ILLUSTRATED I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bye, bye to the collusion lie
    Sums it up, really. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Opinion: Treat your car by buying extra petrol to snack on while you aren’t driving
    By Mike Hosking. Yesterday morning, I waltzed into work, and as I walked past the drones aggressively typing out news on the computers I’ve repeatedly asked to be moved further away from, I caught a glimpse of the words “climate change”, and noticed that suspiciously they weren’t in condescending quotation ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago

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