Moonlight sounds romantic but there wasn’t much romance in the dry, barren East Otago hills where farmers struggled from drought to drought.
There’s still no romance there, but since the area was opened up for gold mining there’s been plenty of life. Conditions on consents are safeguarding the environment and ensure that the land is left in a better state than it was before the mining started.
They’ve proved that mining doesn’t have to be a dirty word and there is no reason the same thing couldn’t happen in a few selected areas of the conservation estate with low conservation values.
When someone says National Park, most of us think of beautiful bush, glorious mountains and pristine water ways. But it’s not all like that.
Some of it’s like this:
There’s some native scrub and exotic weeds; it’s home to wild rabbits, hares, pigs and deer; it’s no where near tourist trails and it borders private land.
If there were minerals of value under land like this, they could be extracted with minimum disruption to the neighbours. One of the conditions imposed on the mining company could be that the land is planted in natives when the mining is finished.
This would provide jobs and income and leave the land in a better condition than it is now.
What’s the problem with that?