close
1 mins to read

Govt under pressure over mining on conservation land

Labour and the Greens are putting pressure on the Government over mining in conservation land, saying the public isn't going to accept it and ministers should come clean with their proposals.Opposition MPs used question time in Parliament yesterday to dem

NZPA
Wed, 17 Mar 2010

Labour and the Greens are putting pressure on the Government over mining in conservation land, saying the public isn't going to accept it and ministers should come clean with their proposals.

Opposition MPs used question time in Parliament yesterday to demand answers about the Government's intentions, but they didn't get any.

Prime Minister John Key told them they would have to wait for the release of the discussion document which will set out where and how valuable minerals might be mined in the conservation estate.

"I think when the discussion document is released New Zealanders will have the opportunity to see how balanced the approach is," he said.

"That balance is between economic opportunities and environmental responsibilities."

The Government last year carried out a stocktake of minerals in the conservation estate, which have an estimated value of at least $140 billion.

Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei wanted confirmation that the Government was going to give the mining industry a $4 million subsidy to survey Kahurangi, Mt Aspiring and Rakiura national parks for minerals.

Mr Key said he wasn't in a position to confirm that at this stage.

Ms Turei said the Government was delaying its decisions.

"Week after week the prime minister is torturing himself and the public with his shifting rhetoric about balancing the environment against the economy," she said.

"There is no way to 'balance' permanently destroying our last remaining wild places against a short-term, one-off gain for foreign mining companies."

NZPA
Wed, 17 Mar 2010
© All content copyright NBR. Do not reproduce in any form without permission, even if you have a paid subscription.
Govt under pressure over mining on conservation land
3425