The Government's conservation mining proposal, released on 22 March 2010, is to remove absolute protection from mining from 7,058 hectares of conservation areas listed in Schedule 4 of the Crown Minerals Act 1991.
So that the Minister of Conservation may (or more likely will) approve mining on a case-by-case basis under Section 61(2) of the Crown Minerals Act. Just like Chris Carter did with Pike River Coal.
The various ENGOs have web forms and guides to help making a submission. And submissions close on 5.00pm on Tuesday 4 May 2010.
The Greens have a good guide on how to make a submission opposing further mining in the 'Schedule 4' conservation areas.
There is also a PDF guide.
Forest and Bird have a quick email submission form
Greenpeace Aotearoa also have a quick email submission form
The Ministry of Economic Development also have a web-based submission form
However, the Ministry's form is structured as a list of questions, some of which are a bit leading. For example,
"Q4(a) Do you have any comments on the type of information that would be the most useful to mineral investors?
Yeah, read a book about getting a life!
Q4(b) Are there any particular areas that the Government should consider including in its investigation programme?".
Yeah, the rest of New Zealand that isn't conservation land!
I have started my submission. I usually wonder for these sort of processes whether I should just keep it short and brief and to the point. I really do doubt the Government's intention to take much notice of them. In that case, it's just a numbers game and we should just fire off the Greenpeace web form email. We will see.