Govt reneges on mining promises

Press release - March 14, 2010
The Government’s assurances of "boutique", "surgical" mining in areas with low conservation value seem to have disappeared down a mine shaft, says Greenpeace.

Forest and Bird today released information on the areas the Government intends to open up to mining. They include: Great Barrier Island, Coromandel Peninsula and Paparoa National Park.

"There's no way these areas could be considered low conservation value and there's no way the minerals sought will be mined by anything other than highly destructive mining techniques like open-pit mining," said Greenpeace Political Advisor Geoff Keey.

"This is a huge blow to New Zealand's clean green values and brand, and another example of the dangerous direction in which this Government is heading in terms of environmental management. It's a rip shit and bust mentality which is out of step with the rest of the world.

"Mining these areas would increase New Zealand's already very high greenhouse gas emissions because of the massive amount of fossil fuels needed for the kinds of mining required.

"Coal mining in Paparoa National Park would be a triple hit for the planet, destroying valuable natural areas, creating massive emissions from mining and then even more emissions when the coal is burnt.

"New Zealanders will be furious over this. Focus groups and polling has clearly shown New Zealanders don't support these proposals. They will have every right to feel angry and betrayed."

Other contacts: Geoff Keey – Greenpeace Political Advisor 021504486 Kathy Cumming - Media and Communications - 021 495 216