Regional economic development on the West Coast needs to include mining, according to Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones.
Jones talks the talk but doesn’t walk the walk. His party put in place a Government that is hostile to the extractive industries.
“The extractive sector will not be written out of any script of regional development that I or the party I belong to are a part of,” said Jones, a New Zealand First MP.
“Just as the oil and gas reforms in Taranaki left intact people’s existing use rights, I am imagining any future changes to the mineral regime will not have an adverse impact on people’s existing use rights.
This is bullshit. Firstly the oil and gas reforms did demolish existing use rights. That is because there are three sorts of permits you can hold. They are:
A prospecting permit is a non-exclusive permit to survey an area to try and locate areas which are most likely to have oil or gas. Companies with prospecting permits sell the info they obtain to companies who want to get an exploration permit.
The Government has ruled out any future exploration permits which means the prospecting permits are now useless. They have no customers to sell to. They invested millions in prospecting permits in good faith.
Jones said a balance needed to be struck between conservation and mining.
Jones voted for the Greens to be in Government, meaning a Green Party Minister now decides all applications for mining on conservation lands. There will be no balance.
“Stewardship land has been lying around since Rogernomics times and any changes to stewardship land will be a change of policy agreed to by the entire Government.”
The PM has already said that no mining will be allowed on any conservation land. This is a major policy shift but it has already occurred and Jones did nothing to stop it.