I have spent the day traveling down the West Coast of the South island with the Sign On crew, including Robyn Malcolm - a true Westie! I swear to God this coast line is the most beautiful i have seen anywhere in the world.

We have been interviewing tourists about the part our "clean green" image played in their decision to visit our country. Then we asked them how they felt about our Government's plan to dig up 3,000 hectares of top-quality native forest in the Paparoa National Park for coal. This is stunning West Coast land that is held in trust on behalf of all NZ'ders.

Two young men from Wales warned us that mining had had a ruinous effect on their rivers and landscape. The woman from northern England said it had taken more than 50 years for the land to begin to rehabilitate. One tourist said rather desperately: "Don't do it Mr Key!!".  All but one strongly advised against New Zealand taking such a backward step. I also talked to some locals (see photo of me doing my thing). Almost all these guys work, or have in the past worked at the Stockton coal mine, just North up the Coast from here. They all talked about how UGLY the mine site is and how they don't really think the same thing should be happening in a National Park.

Let's face it; they won't dig up coal just to look at it. It's going to be burnt in NZ, contributing massively to our carbon emissions. Our Government is rubbing its hands together at the thought of digging up an estimated 9 billion tonnes of coal from various locations around NZ, according to Simon Boxer of Greenpeace. That translates into 13 billion tonnes of CO2 into the air, which is over two times the annual CO2 emissions of the USA. Because of failure to cut emissions, NZ has been lambasted in the overseas press. They have said our 100% PURE brand is infact pure hype. Tourism is our second biggest industry. If our reputation gets trashed, along with our landscape, we're sunk.

We need energy, yes, but we should be demanding energy that is clean, sustainable and doesn't trash our childrens' future, nor come with a nasty carbon bill that will be footed by the taxpayer.

Mining conservation land is not ethical, not smart and not forward-thinking. In short, it's UN-KIWI! Don't do it! If you feel the same and live in or around Auckland, join us on May 1 for a march up Queen Street against the mining plans. Trust me, the Paparoa National Park is way too beautiful for that fate.