Far North Mayor Wayne Brown injects some common sense into the mining debate:
As mayor of the 42 towns and 7500sq km of the Far North District it is my job to lift the economic performance of our region and its people.
Only one-third of our vast sprawl contributes rates with the other two-thirds being Maori land and Department of Conservation land. Much of these areas are vast tracks of scrub and gorse, with some high-value pockets such as Manginangina and Waipoua, that can be left alone.
And some of that scrub land is in Section 4, I am told.
But the single policy that offers most opportunity to our district is Minister of Energy Gerry Brownlee’s moves to prospect and mine rural tracts such as ours, so I am writing to balance the recent widely reported, but rather shallow and negative, press coverage of this policy.
Thousands of ill-informed urban dwellers recently marched against mining with the encouragement of the well intentioned but misguided celebrity actress, Lucy Lawless. What next? Master Chef winners to decide the Official Cash Rate?
Now to that ridiculous urban myth that mining cannot co-exist with tourism. Hello! Mining central, being Australia, has more tourists than we do and I would encourage you to send a reporter up here for a look. Travel along Matauri Bay Rd, then turn right up the little known loose metal road at Tepene Tablelands, like many others do each day.
For over 30 years, scores of locals have driven up there daily to well paid and satisfying jobs at the open cast mine, processing plant and rehabilitated areas of Imerys’ china clay holicite mine.
Lots of others drive up there daily to the other address on this road which is the internationally acclaimed, uber-expensive but very beautiful Kauri Cliffs Golf Resort.
Being next door to an existing mine didn’t stop billionaire owner Julian Robertson from investing in this golf course, nor has it stopped his wealthy guests from coming in good numbers to support the local jobs that this created.
As I said, a very good article that restores some balance to the debate.Tags: mining, Wayne Brown