NZ Herald on mining

September 2nd, 2009 at 7:10 am by David Farrar

The NZ Herald editorial:

Environmentalists say activity would be offputting to tourists lured to this country by the promise of a pristine landscape. But two factors undermine that argument. First, the sum of land in public ownership is so large – it occupies about a third of the country – that more than enough would be left over if were to occupy a tiny portion. And not all the land thought likely to harbour significant deposits of zinc, lead, copper, nickel and tin has high value. Second, good modern practice pays due heed to the environment. The days of open-cast eyesores have been consigned to history.

On a per capita basis, New Zealand undoubtedly has a valuable mineral resource. The royalties from this can play a far greater role in economic growth.

The regions where mining takes place would receive a particular fillip. For every suspicious Coromandel resident, there will be those on the West Coast of the South Island eager to grasp the opportunity. Balance, not blinkered thinking, offers the way forward. Companies prepared to bring a responsible approach to mining carefully selected parts of the Department of Conservation estate should be welcomed to this country.

I’m told the Pike River Mine (on land) takes up only 10 hectares above ground. That represents around one millionth of the conservation estate.

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25 Responses to “NZ Herald on mining”

  1. XChequer (298 comments) says:

    Excellent, well-balanced piece. I hope this is the start of a more sensible era in New Zealand where practicality and sense are acceded to rather than pure ideology.

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  2. toad (3,674 comments) says:

    The Herald is fudging and minimalising what the real issue is here DPF. It is correct that the land in public ownership is about one third of the country. But most of that is already accessible for mineral exploration, prospecting and, potentially, mining.

    What Brownlee is proposing is amending Schedule 4 of the Crown Minerals Act. Now, Schedule 4 applies to National Parks managed under the National Parks Act 1980; nature and scientific reserves managed under the Reserves Act 1977; wilderness areas managed under the Reserves Act 1977 or the Conservation Act 1987; wildlife sanctuaries managed under the Conservation Act 1987; wildlife sanctuaries managed under the Wildlife Act 1953; wetlands protected under the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance; specified ecological areas (predating the framework of the Reserves Act 1977); islands around the Coromandel Peninsula and Hauraki Gulf held or managed by DoC, excluding the Mercury Islands; any Conservation land in the northern part of the Coromandel Peninsula; and marine reserves.

    The areas that are classified under Schedule 4 amount to only approximately 40% of the conservation estate – the remaining 60%, as well as the rest of publicly owned land that is not part of the conservation estate, is already accessible for purposes of mineral exploration, prospecting, and, potentially, mining.

    And that 40% of the conservation estate has been included in Schedule 4 precisely because those areas have already been determined to be of the highest conservation value and deserving of the highest level of protection.

    Brownlee also referred in his speech to the potential for exploiting lignite with a gross in ground value of $100 billion. Now, aside from the fact that the best place for lignite is in the ground if we are serious about minimising greenhouse emissions and other air pollutants, it’s clear that he’s not talking about a few tin-pot mines like Pike River here – he’s talking about mining on a scale hitherto unseen in New Zealand, and in some of the most ecologically sensitive areas.

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  3. scanner (340 comments) says:

    The tourist thing is just a beat up, quite a number of tourists avail themselves of mine tours when they visit NZ.
    I would far rather look at a mine than than a bunch of P fueled robbing, rapist Mowrees through the window of my camper at 2 in the morning.
    Which do you think does more harm to our international reputation.?

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  4. Patrick Starr (3,674 comments) says:

    Toad, you cant pick fruit from a tree that has none.

    But look at it this way – isn’t it great we could be digging up all that wealth to pay for the ETS!
    Drill Gerry, Drill!

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  5. big bruv (13,884 comments) says:

    “if we are serious about minimising greenhouse emissions”

    You might be “serious” about it Toad but the vast majority of Kiwi’s are of the opinion that it is a crock of shit.

    And please, stop using the term “we” as if you speak for all Kiwi’s, thankfully only 6.72% of our population are mind numbingly stupid enough to vote Green.

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  6. racer1 (352 comments) says:

    ” big bruv
    “if we are serious about minimising greenhouse emissions”

    You might be “serious” about it Toad but the vast majority of Kiwi’s are of the opinion that it is a crock of shit.”

    Incorrect.


    big bruv
    And please, stop using the term “we” as if you speak for all Kiwi’s, thankfully only 6.72% of our population are mind numbingly stupid enough to vote Green.”

    Which is vastly more than what ACT got also, so how about you shut the fuck up and stop trying to speak for the country also.

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  7. big bruv (13,884 comments) says:

    Patrick

    Can you imagine the panic sweeping through the Greens at the moment, even the possibility of discovering fabulous wealth causes them to go into melt down mode.

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  8. toad (3,674 comments) says:

    big bruv said: You might be “serious” about it Toad but the vast majority of Kiwi’s are of the opinion that it is a crock of shit.

    As usual, you don’t let the evidence get in the way of a good attack line, do you bruv.

    An opinion poll on Labour’s ETS (with a question described by some as close to push-polling) commissioned by Matthew Hooton’s company Exceltium last year, so certainly not a pro-Green initiative, last year revealed 34 per cent for and 24 per cent against the legislation.

    And of that 24% against, a number would have been people like me who opposed it because we didn’t think it would be sufficiently effective in reducing emissions.

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  9. big bruv (13,884 comments) says:

    Toad

    You know as well as I do that any reductions we make will cripple our economy and make NO DIFFERENCE to world emissions, the Green and idiots like racer want to destroy our economy for no other reason than it would make almost all kiwis dependant on the state to survive.

    Any real debate on the issue is shut down by people like you, anybody who denies the climate change con is branded as a puppet of, or funded by, Exxon.

    In ever increasing numbers we see reports from independent bodies or scientists slamming the climate change myth yet these reports are over run by alarmist press releases from con men like Al Gore and “green” groups.

    Climate change is indeed a con Toad, more and more people are beginning to see it this way hence your desire to see legislation rammed through before the debate has run its course.

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  10. Shunda barunda (2,983 comments) says:

    “I’m told the Pike River Mine (on DOC land) takes up only 10 hectares above ground. That represents around one millionth of the conservation estate.”

    And most of that land is in the access road. Underground mining is very low impact on the surface, the main opposition to these mines is not what they do to the environment on site but the fact that coal is of the devil!!
    I have been involved in helping Pike River with some of the environmental issues and it is very clear that they have to stick to strict DOC requirements and absolutely everything is monitored.

    “For every suspicious Coromandel resident, there will be those on the West Coast of the South Island eager to grasp the opportunity.”

    Yes, especially smaller scale gold miners, but here is the problem many of these guys have a “do it if we can get away with it” attitude and will only comply with the rules if someone is watching. Who is going to monitor what these guys are doing? don’t get me wrong I am not against small scale mining but some of these guys are red neck dick heads and have a piss poor attitude to match.

    The Rape and pillage mentality has to go out of the industry for any policy changes to work without wrecking the environment, I am not confident that this will work without strict monitoring from DOC, the local regional council is no longer trustworthy on this issue (they actually gave a non notifiable consent to mine the most heavily used residential beach in the middle of town!!)

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  11. s.russell (1,640 comments) says:

    It has already been rightly pointed out that most of New Zealand is not protected from mining. But where is the $100 billion mining industry? Existing operations are a tiny tiny fraction of this size. Ergo, opening up a little bit more land (on toad’s assessment 40% of 30%, ie 12%) is most unlikely to see anything more than a marginal increase in mining activity. Because, alas, the vast majority of the claimed $240 billion worth of minerals is not economically recoverable anyway.

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  12. side show bob (3,660 comments) says:

    Shunda baraunda even the greenest of regional councils, those infested with tree hugging drop kicks soon turn to the “dark side” when they realize their parasitic lifestyle is under threat from underfunding. It doesn’t take long to have a moment of enlightenment and the conversion to free enterprise is to be embraced and encouraged. But only till the stage that sufficient funds become available through taxation ( rates ) so these diseased bastards can go back to telling everyone how to conduct their affairs.

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  13. dime (9,972 comments) says:

    the greens say it will effect tourists… when did they start caring about commerce?

    i say mine the shit out of the land! start tomorrow!

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  14. big bruv (13,884 comments) says:

    “The privatization of our conservation estate is about to begin”

    Good, it cannot happen fast enough.

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  15. toad (3,674 comments) says:

    Not according to a short children’s story by Catherine Delahunty, Robinson 666.

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  16. big bruv (13,884 comments) says:

    Toad

    Every time you let Mad Delahunty speak you lose votes.

    You should really make her leader of the party.

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  17. emmess (1,428 comments) says:

    If we start mining and the tourists stop flying here
    Think of all the emmissions we will save
    The greenies should be really happy about that

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  18. dime (9,972 comments) says:

    bruv – why ar ethe greens hiding their new co-leader? is she worse than delahunty and bradford?

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  19. big bruv (13,884 comments) says:

    Why are the Greens hiding both of their leaders dime?

    But don’t worry, Comrade Bradford needs the publicity, remember they always hide her away or gag her in election year lest she remind the public how truly horrible she is.

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  20. Sonny Blount (1,782 comments) says:

    An opinion poll on Labour’s ETS (with a question described by some as close to push-polling) commissioned by Matthew Hooton’s company Exceltium last year, so certainly not a pro-Green initiative, last year revealed 34 per cent for and 24 per cent against the legislation.

    So 66% were not for the ETS. That is a majority of people Toad.

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  21. dime (9,972 comments) says:

    were the 34% people for the ETS told how much it would cost them? like, personally cost them? or did they think it would just effect those “rich pricks” and “big business”

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  22. toad (3,674 comments) says:

    Sonny Blount said: So 66% were not for the ETS. That is a majority of people Toad.

    That’s like saying that because only 88% of the 54% of the population who voted in the child discipline referendum voted no, a majority of the pupulation (53.5%) think a smack as part of good parental correction should be a criminal offence.

    If I’d used that reasoning in a post on that issue, Sonny, I’d have been ridiculed here for weeks.

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  23. davidp (3,581 comments) says:

    >Environmentalists say mining activity would be offputting to tourists lured to this country by the promise of a pristine landscape.

    We’re not going to be able to have a tourist industry if we want 40% carbon dioxide reductions like the Greens, Keisha Castle Hughes, and the celebrities featured in Team America want. Tourists tend to arrive in jets, hire camper vans, consume food, and buy souvenirs. Domestic tourists generate tonnes of CO2 driving to ski fields and houses by the beach. This all has to stop, for the sake of Gaia. Think of the children!

    The easiest way to stop tourism would be to make NZ a less attractive place to visit. Miners will be helping the country meet its Kyoto targets, and the money generated will be able to buy carbon offsets to compensate for any cows that escape the Green Party ban. So everyone is a winner!

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  24. side show bob (3,660 comments) says:

    Dime I think you will find it will be the “rich pricks” that once again pick up the tab. Some while back there was noise coming out from different sections of the community, what we would call disadvantaged, they were telling government that no way could they afford the EFS, they would either freeze or starve or both. So Shonkey in a vain attempt to claim the waters said the government may have to subsidise those that can not pay. Sound familiar, the National Clayton Party, the socialist party you have when you don’t have a socialist party, pack of arseholes if you ask me.

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