Mining march announced for 1st May in Auckland

Press release - April 14, 2010
A coalition of environment groups including Greenpeace, has announced a public march against the Government’s mining plans on May 1 in Auckland.

The march will highlight widespread anger over proposals to mine the very best of New Zealand's conservation land and will be just days before the Government's consultation period ends.

"The Government's mining plans are one of the most aggressive and tangible challenges to New Zealand's 'clean green' values and brand in recent history," said Greenpeace Executive Director Bunny McDiarmid.

"The proposals are yet another example of the Government's 19th century approach to economic development; they are the tip of the iceberg. We're at a real crossroads as a nation: are we really willing to risk the long term well-being of the economy and the environment? Now is the time for New Zealanders to stand up and say 'this is not the direction we want for our country'."

Ambassador for Greenpeace's Sign On climate campaign Robyn Malcolm: "The National Government's draconian mining plans seem like something from another age. They want to destroy 3,000 ha of Paparoa national park to mine coal, which will be burnt in New Zealand, which will increase our emissions. It's like they've never heard of climate change."

Federated Mountain Clubs spokesperson Richard Davies: "New Zealand has a vibrant outdoor culture. Over 120 years, successive governments have protected the natural places that Kiwis and tourists enjoy. Plans to raid the best bits - Schedule 4 lands like National Parks - undermine our great outdoors tradition."

Forest & Bird conservation advocate Quentin Duthie said New Zealand's public conservation estate needed to be protected not exploited. "It is home to our unique plants and animals, is much loved by New Zealanders, and supports the whole economy, especially tourism. Schedule 4 areas like Coromandel, Great Barrier and Paparoa National Park - home to Kiwi and magnificent forests - are simply too precious to mine."

Coromandel Watchdog's Denis Tegg:  "The Coromandel has steep, forested mountains, outstanding landscapes and is habitat to endangered species. This is no place for gold mining, which requires roads, industrial-scale rock crushing and leaves 99.99% behind as a heavy metals-laden toxic residue".

Economist and ECO chair Cath Wallace said the touted economic benefits of the mining have been grossly overstated.  "The proposal for mining in our conservation areas also assigns to zero the value of conservation areas and the natural systems, the landscape, and the recreational and cultural values to New Zealand."

The march will kick off from the bottom of Queen Street at 11am.

See: for more information.

Other contacts: Greenpeace: Bunny McDiarmid - 021838183 Robyn Malcolm can be contacted through Kathy Cumming – 021 495 216 Coromandel Watchdog: Denis Tegg (07) 868 9090 / 027 210 5344 Forest and Bird: Quentin Duthie 021558215 FMC: Richard Davies 0274555293 ECO: Cath Wallace - 021-891-994 or 04-463-5713 (w)

Exp. contact date: 2010-06-15 00:00:00