John-Darroch-Photos-0068After weeks of provincial marches, peaceful protests, political backlash, polls showing Kiwis aren't into it, the "biggest protest march in a generation", prestigious international conservation groups saying "get out of town" and even the London Zoo saying "you've got to be kidding", public submissions on the Government's schedule 4 mining plans have officially closed. Over 35,000 people have made submissions (including thousands of Greenpeace supporters - thank you!) - the vast majority strongly opposed to the plans.

Greenpeace has said it before and we'll say it again. The plans suck. They suck beyond the destruction they'll cause to beautiful parts of the country and beyond the impact they'll have on our famed natural heritage, the climate and communities. The mining issue goes to the heart of where New Zealand is heading as a nation, which, at this crucial time, is not the same direction as the rest of the world. Slowly but surely Governments and nations around the globe are looking to clean up their act and are beginning to place value on their natural, sustainable, strategic assets. Mining is not sustainable. Risking the value of "100% Pure" and "clean and green" is not strategic.


Over 40,000 people marched up Queen Street on May 1 to say no to the schedule 4 plans. But their discontent went wider than that. These people were also asking: "John Key, where is an economic vision for New Zealand that shows we're a modern, progressive country, that all Kiwis can ascribe to and that respects our values and future?" These 40,000 people are still waiting for an answer.

Pushing on with the mining plans as they stand is simply not politically feasible for National. But it needs to do more than drop the plans. It needs to wake up and smell the 21st century. It needs to change its mindset.