22 March 2010

National's mining of conservation areas

It's time to understate both the conservation values of conservation areas listed in Schedule 4 of the Crown Minerals Act 1991 and the environmental impacts of mining and overstate the benefits of mining within conservation areas.

Gerry Brownlee and Kate Wilkinson have released their mining conservation areas proposal. Its also on Scoop.

Their statement includes a classic oxymoron in the first paragraph. The discussion paper contains "a suite of measures to facilitate the environmentally responsible development of New Zealand's extensive mineral estate".

It gets worse. The statement includes the same grossly superficial nonsense argument that the proposal is environmentally acceptable as the newly opened areas for mining will be so small compared to the areas protected. Brownlee says:
"7,058 hectares is just 0.2 per cent of Schedule Four land. Moreover, if that land subsequently saw mining development, only around five per cent of the land might actually be mined - as little as 500 hectares. This is nothing like the vast tracts of land suggested to date by the environmental lobby".
But as I previously posted, it is Brownlee and Key who are playing fast and loose with misleading and/or factually incorrect areas of mining.

Brownlee says that of the 7,000 hectares to be reclassified, only 5% or 500 hectares might be actually mined. Didn't John Key tell us in his statement to Parliament that all mining in New Zealand only had a footprint of 50 hectares? Oh well, whats the big deal about a factual error of an order of magnitude between National cabinet ministers?

The proposal is covered by Fairfax and more acerbically by No Right Turn, who has also described National as the "Government of Orcs".

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