Mining decision attacks NZ values, brand and identity

Press release - March 21, 2010
The Government is dragging New Zealand back to the 19th century with its mining plans, says Greenpeace.

Paparoa National Park by Flickr user stevemonty

"It's like we fell asleep and woke up and it's the 80s again," said Greenpeace Senior Campaigner Simon Boxer. "The National Party's rudimentary approach to economic development is fast consigning 'clean green' New Zealand to the historical dustbin. Its rip shit and bust approach to growth is destroying everything we stand for as a country."

The Government has finally released its discussion document outlining mining plans in areas including the Coromandel Peninsula, the Paparoa National Park and Stewart Island; areas currently protected under Schedule Four of the Crown Minerals Act.

"These areas are precious to people all round the world and mining them invites a massive international backlash.

"The world is on the cusp of a new green industrial revolution because of challenges like climate change. Intelligent, canny nations will be at the forefront of the revolution and the winners will be those who understand, embrace and pioneer clean technologies. Unfortunately for New Zealand, our Government is still picking 19th century winners in a 21st century world.

The government's plans had already drawn international condemnation from conservation organisations. (1)

"Mining pristine conservation lands is exactly the backwards thinking that must change if New Zealand is to have any chance of prosperity in the future," said Boxer. "Economic development that takes no account of the impact on our environment, our overseas reputation and the global economy's response to climate change is economic suicide.  We have to stop stealing from the future as if we have learnt nothing from our past.

"New Zealand needs the Government to offer an economic vision for the 21st century that plays to the strength of our clean and green reputation and meets the challenge of climate change through clean development."

Other contacts: Greenpeace Senior Climate Campaigner – 021905579 Kathy Cumming – Media and Communications – 021 495 216

Notes: (1) World Commission on Protected areas of IUCN: "The international community has long seen New Zealand as a country with strong protection of its outstanding natural values and a country seriously committed to biodiversity conservation. We also note that the successful national branding of ‘100% natural’ can only retain its credibility by assuring the intactness of the conservation lands of New Zealand." And