Radio NZ reports:
Correspondence between the West Coast mayors and the Conservation Minister released to RNZ show the mayors were floored by the announcement and they believe they were entitled to be consulted on the matter.
Not the only ones floored. This was not Labour Party policy. It was another Captain’s Call.
Conservation land makes up about 84 percent of the West Coast’s total area and the Grey District Mayor Tony Kokshoorn said this left only 16 percent of private land available for economic development.
He said no other region would survive under the same circumstances.
Absolutely. The ban is a death sentence.
“On Department of Conservation land there is huge amounts of rare earth minerals, there’s moss, there’s gravel, there’s granite extraction for protection works for flooding, so there’s a lot of minerals including gold, so what we’re saying to the government is we do need access to conservation land.”
Until stewardship land had been reviewed and potentially reclassified, the letter said the region should be kept out of the ban.
A third of the conservation estate is stewardship land, which is the term given to a swathe of land that was allocated to DOC when it was formed in 1987.
It is managed as conservation area and is protected for its natural values, but it is essentially in a holding pen waiting to be given either additional protection, or it can be sold or swapped for other land.
Stewardship land is the only category of conservation land that can be sold or swapped.
Most stewardship land has low conservation value. They are not national parks. Banning mining on stewardship land is daft.