The Conservation Minister will seek public feedback on a proposal to ban mining on conservation land.
Discussion Paper to be released in September
In 1996-97 after a huge 20-year-long public campaign a ban was imposed on mining on conservation land and coast in the northern Coromandel (north of the Kopu-Hikuai Road).
Campaigners always felt this was a weak political compromise from Jim Bolger’s’ government because the land and coast south of the line was just as worthy of protection from mining. Then, in 2010 the National Government attempted to remove this land from protection, only to be met again with massive public opposition (40,000 people marched down Queen Street in protest). John Key’s government backed down.
Now the new government is again seeking the views of the public on a nationwide ban on mining on conservation land and coast. Once again the public is going to have to rise up and make it very clear that mining on Coromandel conservation land (and elsewhere) will not be tolerated.
“Last November, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced the government would block new mining on conservation land.
Eugenie Sage today said a discussion document would be released in September as part of the consultation process.
That would be a chance for the public and stakeholders to share their views on any issues the government needed to consider in implementing the policy, she said.
“How the law gets implemented, and the best mechanisms to do this, do require public and iwi input,” she said.
Along with Energy and the Resources Minister Megan Woods, Ms Sage will talk to the mining sector, iwi, local government, environment and community groups about the proposal.
“What we’re signalling is that there will be public consultation and there will be strong consultation with our treaty partners,” she said.
Mining generally degraded or destroyed natural areas where native insects, birds and plants lived, she said.
“Large-scale opencast mining in particular permanently changes natural landscapes. It can result in significant water pollution,” she told RNZ.
A range of mining activities were happening on public conservation land, she said, from coal mines to alluvial gold mines and gravel extraction.
There are currently 54 active mines on conservation land.”