If mining is already being undertaken on conservation land without a fuss, why did plans to allow prospecting on a further 7000 hectares cause such a fuss?
It looks like the plans will now be scrapped because it’s not what you do it’s the way that you do it.
Those opposing it grabbed the emotional high ground and no-one had enough facts for a counter attack.
Government’s which don’t listen to public opinion are doomed, but sometimes potentially unpopular policy can be accepted if it’s backed up by strong arguments.
This one wasn’t.
Some members of the West Coast Tai Poutini Conservation Board say West Coast land which may be mined shouldn’t have been added to Paparoa National Park.
A report in The Press (not on line) says:
. . . chairman Warren Inwood said some of the land had previously been used for logging and mining.
“A lot of it has been planted with exotics, and what’s that doing in schedule 4?” he said.
Board member Les Wright said he was never in favour of the land being added to the park in 2002.
The park was primarily lowland karst landscape, and the land near Inangahua did not fit, he said. “It’s not even part of the Paparoas.”
This confirms what the hysterical reaction to the suggestion small areas of conservation land may be mined has ignored: some of the land identified has little or no conservation value.
But of even more interest is this:
West Coast Labour list MP Damien O’Conner said it was important parks were not devalued by land of “low value”.
“If we are adding bits to it which are of low value, then we discredit ourselves and the integrity of the national park network,” he said.
“We should protect the land we consider most valuable and not mine within it, but there are lots of other areas which we can utilise.”
That seems eminently sensible to me.
Is it Labour party policy and does it also apply to pastoral lease land which is being considered for tenure review?