At Backbenches last night, Wallace Chapman asked Green MP Catherine Delahunty what she would do if there was $100 million of gold buried underneath her private property.
Catherine’s response was that she would not mine it, but instead would plant a garden as they are sustainable.
Now I am sure Catherine was speaking truthfully. She would refuse to mine on even private land, no matter how much wealth there is underneath. This was not hyperbole, but her honest beliefs.
Some people are opposed to mining in areas with high conservation values. I’m even one of those – there are some areas which I think should never be mined. And most NZers fit somewhere on that scale – we may differ about how much land we would put into this protected category, but it is a scale. Some would advocate all DOC land be exempt. Some advocate all Section 4 land (even the parts with gorse) should be protected. Some advocate only parts of Section 4.
But the point I want to make is that some, like Catherine, are against all mining everywhere. It doesn’t matter how many jobs are created. It doesn’t matter how much wealth might be underground. It doesn’t matter that the ground may have zero conservation value. Their view is that mining is bad full stop.