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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