Accept schedule 4 failure and come back with better idea– Greenpeace

Press release - May 26, 2010
The Government would be wise to chalk up its schedule 4 mining plans as an idea it got horribly wrong, says Greenpeace in its submission on the proposals.

Greenpeace added its submission today to tens of thousands opposing the plans.

"The Government asked for public input and the public has responded with a resounding no to mining the best of pure New Zealand," said Greenpeace Executive Director Bunny McDiarmid. "People have said no to a 19th century approach to economic growth, no to an international backlash, and no to squandering the environment and climate for a tiny and short-term gain.

"If Key's government is wise it will go away and come back with viable, modern economic development proposals that boost our economy in a way that doesn't threaten our environment and values. Ministers and officials should be taking New Zealand down a green development path."

The Greenpeace submission also questioned the harm caused in the international arena when the Government seemed to "speak with a forked tongue" on climate change.

"The Government's mining proposals cast a negative pall on New Zealand's reputation internationally as a good-faith participant in international agreements to tackle global climate change and protect biodiversity. When John Key is prepared to mine our National Parks for massive quantities of coal to burn here in New Zealand, it makes a mockery of claims he takes climate change seriously.  

"Right when the rest of the world is making serious commitments to addressing climate change and biodiversity decline, New Zealand is going backwards.  

New Zealand has one of the highest rates of per capita emissions in the OECD and the mining - among other ill conceived policies - will make that problem worse.

"The Government seems to assume that mining expansion and our positive reputation can co-exist, but evidence suggests otherwise. The economic risk of harming New Zealand's multi-billion dollar tourism industry should be enough of a deterrent."

Notes: Greenpeace’s full submission can be found here: