07 April 2010

How To Submit On The Government's Mining Plans

I blogged a couple of weeks ago on my opposition to the New Zealand Government's plans to allow mining in our National Parks and other areas of high-value conservation land. Submissions on these proposals are open until Wednesday 26 May, and the Green Party has prepared a very helpful submission guide, including a link to the official online submission form.

You can find it here: http://www.greens.org.nz/submissions/submission-guide-mining-schedule-4

Making submissions is necessary, but not sufficient, to stop these mining plans going ahead. It's also important that you talk to your local National MP and express your opposition to these plans. Here is a list of National MPs, with contact details: http://www.national.org.nz/MPList.aspx

(Don't worry - most of them don't bite, and some of the more liberal National MPs in urban areas are already concerned about the environmental -and electoral - impact of these mining plans.)

If you live overseas and want to help this campaign, then go straight to the top: email Prime Minister John Key at j.key@ministers.govt.nz and tell him what you think. If the prospect of visiting New Zealand is less appealing to you thanks to these mining plans, or if they put you off buying New Zealand goods, I suggest you mention that as well.

Finally, the plans to mine Great Barrier Island and the Coromandel Peninsula have got most of the attention, but even if the Government decided to drop those plans, a lot of other areas of great beauty and environmental importance are at risk: for example, Stewart Island (Rakiura) is in the Government's sights. Take a look at this article about Solid Energy's plans to mine Paparoa National Park:


Digging up highly polluting coal in a National Park to power the expansion of highly polluting dairy farming. That pretty much sums up this Government's attitude to the environment.


John Toon said...

Have slogged through the MED's own online submission form. Responding to the specific questions they wanted answered seemed the most likely way for me to get my response noticed (plus it made me actually read the discussion paper...). But my, there are a couple of slightly leading questions on there.

Also, what struck me forcefully about the proposals laid out in the discussion paper is that, as much as they outline the MER's efforts to get its hands on conservation land, they also suggest an attempted political landgrab by the MER against the DoC. Little, peripheral, administrative things, because they're *such* a burden and you don't want to have to spend your time fussing over all that, dear, not with *your* budget, here, let me *help* you... It looks just a touch sinister to my cynical eyes.

Tim Jones said...

Yes, the old "we're going ahead anyway, but we'll let you comment on a few things" approach.

Both this Minister and this Ministry are continually trying to horn in on smaller Ministries' territory (and budgets).

Mind you, this behaviour isn't confined to the MED - when I had a short-term contract at the Ministry for the Environment a few years ago, and I soon discovered that their deadliest enemy and rival was neither polluters, nor miners, but the Department of Conservation. Empire-building rules OK!