No environmental protection under National | The Jackal

27 Jun 2012

No environmental protection under National

Today, the NZ Herald reported:

The Government will allow mining exploration in marine mammal sanctuaries that protect rare dolphins, whales and seals.

Conservation Minister Kate Wilkinson defended a decision for seismic surveying and mining exploration to go ahead in marine sanctuaries, saying surveying could be restricted to minimise harm to marine mammals.

Yesterday Prime Minister John Key ruled out mining in World Heritage Sites.

Green MP Gareth Hughes said it made a sham of so-called marine mammal sanctuaries after oil companies were granted 10 permits in four of the protected areas.

"It's great that you won't be going ahead with mining in World Heritage sites but what about the marine mammal sanctuaries," he said.

There were six existing sanctuaries around New Zealand's coastline meant to provide a permanent refuge for marine mammals in fishing waters.

If National weren't planning to exploit those areas for minerals, why are they bothering to explore them then? In fact New Zealand Petroleum and Minerals states that the high resolution survey of the West Coast region from Haast to Karamea:

Will be of interest to minerals explorers, who would need to interpret it to determine if there are areas of potential mineralisation.

...Which completely contradicts what John Key has said.

Surveying is not cheap either and the cost is being paid for by the taxpayer, who should be pissed off that the government is wasting our money to promote environmental destruction of Marine Sanctuaries and World Heritage Sites.

People should also be pissed off that National is undertaking surveying that has been scientifically proven (PDF) to cause marine mammals harm, and in protected areas no less. Doesn't the right-wing know what the word sanctuary means?