No mandate to mine | The Jackal

29 Mar 2013

No mandate to mine

Yesterday, 3 News reported:

The Government is allowing mineral prospecting on protected conservation land despite promising in 2010 no mining will be allowed on such high-value estate.

Eight consents have been granted to prospect and explore for coal and other minerals in Coromandel and the West Coast's Paparoa National Park.

That's despite public outrage in 2010 when the government proposed freeing up some conservation land for mining. It was forced to back down and promised there would be no mining.

In fact on 20 July 2010, Energy and Resources Minister Gerry Brownlee and Conservation Minister Kate Wilkinson announced that there would be no exploration or mining on Schedule 4 land. This decision was made after a consultation process that saw 37,552 submissions, the vast majority of which were against the proposal.

Here's Nationals press release:

"Most of those submissions said we should not remove any land from Schedule 4.  We heard that message loud and clear.

That consultation process was initiated after the largest public protest in New Zealands history on 1 May the same year. 50,000 Kiwis turned out on Queen Street to march against the Government's mining plans, sending a very clear message that Schedule 4 land should not be considered for exploitation.

Nothing has changed since then, with the public still overwhelmingly against mining on conservation land. But despite that huge public protest and the consultation process that caused the government to back down and say they would not proceed, National has gone back on their word by allowing prospecting to occur, ignoring both the previous consultation process and what the majority of the public wants.

There was no mandate given at the last election to explore for mining Schedule 4 areas, and that's a clear indication that we no longer have a democracy in New Zealand... Instead, under a National led government we have a dictatorship. Why on earth would anybody support that?