I’ve spent a large part of the last few weeks in Australia for work. And I wish I could say that as a result I haven’t kept up with news on the Government’s mining plans. But it’s a funny thing, this threat to New Zealand’s most beautiful places. It doesn’t just affect Kiwis. It affects everyone who has ever visited New Zealand, or plans to (and that’s a lot of Australians). Hence proposals to pillage our National Parks have made headlines across the ditch.

It is not what I want our country to be in the news for. It’s not how I want people overseas thinking about us: as a country whose best suggestion for growth is to destroy what we all hold dear and what the rest of the world can clearly see is becoming increasingly rare and precious.
You don’t have to be an environmentalist to have reservations about the Government’s mining proposals. You just have to care about your country. It’s about being a New Zealander.

When we leave New Zealand, to travel, or live abroad, what do we think of when we miss home? We think of our national parks, the beautiful pockets of our country which have been set aside for locals and tourists to enjoy. It is a bitter irony to me that the very image of NZ which entices the rest of the world to our doorstep - tracts of untouched country and its unique eco systems, miles away from big global industry and development - is about to be gutted "surgically", leaving only the odd "thumbprint".

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.I’m not interested in the Government’s brandishing of one poll to say that half of all New Zealanders are okay with the idea of mining our most beautiful landscapes. All the Kiwis I’ve spoken to about this are adamantly opposed to the plans.

I do not pretend to be a mining expert. I also do not wish to present an hysterical response. I understand that there are assurances and promises that the plans are to be considered, debated and decided upon with the utmost integrity and diligence.Perhaps this may happen, perhaps it won't, and I still don’t see how it’s worth it. The mining companies will make millions, billions, whatever, but New Zealand will get a tiny slice that doesn’t for one moment justify the damage to our values and brand. The rest of the world gets it. Why don’t we?
What this represents in the big picture is what frightens me the most. We are on the cusp of environmental and ecological disaster as a planet and as a result there is a fast-growing, new way of viewing future economic growth and development.
The economic leaders in the 21st century will be those who use new clean, green technology as a way to move forward while protecting what little untouched world we have left.

New Zealand got women the vote 20 years before the rest of the world, We said "No" to nuclear powered warships when the rest of the world was scared to, we used to be a courageous, forward- thinking green little country,. Very soon, it will be very clear to those of us who care to notice and to the rest of the world that simply we are not any more. That will be a tragedy.

Join us on May 1 to march against the Government’s mining plans. Bring everyone you know and others!

This is as big picture as it can get.