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No to More Mining on the Coromandel

 |  Verna Carr  | 

The article titled $2 billion export goal for mining in The Informer, June 4, states that doubling mining export value is a great goal. No, it isn’t.

The points I wish to raise and call attention to in this article are:

• “It will be good to see the government invest in upgrading geological modelling and resource potential by mapping our mineral resources. Not only do these mining consortiums want to take and make profit on the natural resources that belong to the people, they also want the people to pay for the privilege through taxes paid for government funding of mining activities.

• The Fast Track Approval Bill allows three ministers from the same political party to have all the decision-making ability to approve or disprove a resource consent application. In effect, this means there is no consultation with interested or opposing parties, no discussion, no debate, no negotiation, and no due process, enabling government officials to run roughshod over the opinions of the people they claim to represent. It is no coincidence that big corporations and mining companies contribute to politicians’ campaign funds in return for favours.

• The word ‘our’ implies common ownership. If these resources belong to everybody, then there should at least be consensus about their usage and a fair distribution of profits.

• Mining only takes place on a small percentage of conservation land. The point is that it is still conservation land – land set aside for its beauty and conservation attributes. If it is designated for conservation purposes, then it should be off limits; no exceptions to all activities that are not this. Its fate shouldn’t be decided by the whims of whatever political party happens to hold office. There is a much bigger picture here.

• Yes, minerals are needed in the manufacturing processes of modern society. Resources could be allocated for more sustainable and natural ways of living so we, as a collective, do not have to rely on mining. Mining companies should be obligated to allocate a percentage of their profits for this purpose.

• Consenting conditions require mining companies to restore sites when mining ends, so they can be enjoyed by surrounding communities. Mining never ends; it will continue as long as there are profits to be made. Communities can already enjoy the untouched version; why would they want an outsider, overseas profit-making company to come into their area and take what does not belong to them because “it is sitting under our feet “waiting for them to take advantage?

New Zealand, especially the Coromandel, is a place of natural beauty and wonder, but it is too precious to be mined. What legacy are we, the people, leaving for future generations?

The article titled $2 billion export goal for mining in The Informer, June 4, states that doubling mining export value is a great goal. No, it isn’t.

The points I wish to raise and call attention to in this article are:

• “It will be good to see the government invest in upgrading geological modelling and resource potential by mapping our mineral resources. Not only do these mining consortiums want to take and make profit on the natural resources that belong to the people, they also want the people to pay for the privilege through taxes paid for government funding of mining activities.

• The Fast Track Approval Bill allows three ministers from the same political party to have all the decision-making ability to approve or disprove a resource consent application. In effect, this means there is no consultation with interested or opposing parties, no discussion, no debate, no negotiation, and no due process, enabling government officials to run roughshod over the opinions of the people they claim to represent. It is no coincidence that big corporations and mining companies contribute to politicians’ campaign funds in return for favours.

• The word ‘our’ implies common ownership. If these resources belong to everybody, then there should at least be consensus about their usage and a fair distribution of profits.

• Mining only takes place on a small percentage of conservation land. The point is that it is still conservation land – land set aside for its beauty and conservation attributes. If it is designated for conservation purposes, then it should be off limits; no exceptions to all activities that are not this. Its fate shouldn’t be decided by the whims of whatever political party happens to hold office. There is a much bigger picture here.

• Yes, minerals are needed in the manufacturing processes of modern society. Resources could be allocated for more sustainable and natural ways of living so we, as a collective, do not have to rely on mining. Mining companies should be obligated to allocate a percentage of their profits for this purpose.

• Consenting conditions require mining companies to restore sites when mining ends, so they can be enjoyed by surrounding communities. Mining never ends; it will continue as long as there are profits to be made. Communities can already enjoy the untouched version; why would they want an outsider, overseas profit-making company to come into their area and take what does not belong to them because “it is sitting under our feet “waiting for them to take advantage?

New Zealand, especially the Coromandel, is a place of natural beauty and wonder, but it is too precious to be mined. What legacy are we, the people, leaving for future generations?


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