Undermining our most generous gifts

At a rowdy Back Benches pub TV show last night, Keith Locke made the observation that yesterday was a special anniversary.

Tongariro National Park: Photo by flickr.com/photos/jcolman/

Tongariro National Park Photo by flickr.com/photos/jcolman/

On 23 September 1887, Te Heuheu Tukino of Tuwharetoa gifted the mountains of Tongariro, Ngaruhoe and Ruapehu to the people of Aotearoa. As Frog’s kiwidiary notes, this allowed all New Zealanders access and usage for recreation, but also gave us all responsibility to care for and protect these sacred mountains. Parliament passed the Tongariro National Park Act in 1894.

This anniversary was sullied by the fact that the Crown is now considering the Park’s mining potential. The Minister of Energy and Resources and the Minister of Conservation are undertaking a stocktake of high value conservation places listed in Schedule 4 of the Crown Minerals Act, which includes all National Parks.

Despite the Acting Minister of Tourism’s attempts to play it down with the comment that “the Minister of Energy and Resources has not said anything about opening up national parks to mining”, that Minister Brownlee has refused to rule National Parks like Tongariro out of the stocktake, saying to Metiria: “The member knows which bits of the national parks are in schedule 4 — all of them, in fact. But we have said that we are doing a stocktake of the lands in schedule 4 — end of story.”

What a way to celebrate such a generous gift to the Crown and people of these lands – to include them in the Government’s treasure-hunt folly. I wonder what Te Heuheu Tukino’s mokopuna, National Minister Hon Georgina Te Heuheu, thinks of the idea?

You can have your say by reading about the Government intentions on our mining page , sending an ecard to the PM, and getting your friends to sign the petition [PDF].

12 thoughts on “Undermining our most generous gifts

  1. Watched ‘Te Tepu’ on Maori Television last night. This issue came up. Both guests expressed their whakarihariha over Gerry Brownlee’s actions.

    (whakarihariha doesn’t mean ‘delight’)

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  2. Well what can you expect from a philistine like Brownlee, who obviously knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.

    I would like to know the Maori Party’s re-action to this.

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  3. New Zealand’s biggest industrial complex is coming Southland’s way, the local rag trumpets today. We’re to get a ‘syngas park’, where lignite, presently sitting beneath our farmland, is to ‘open-caste’ up and into the breathlessly proposed coal-to-diesel, coal-to-urea plant. O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!’
    It’s obvious that we’re excited, but you’ve gotta ask yourself,
    Are we f*cken mad?

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  4. Ha!! maybe we can transfer some of the coal rednecks here, down your way greenfly, turns out that white South African immigrants in the coal industry are a tad racist, so you can have them too.

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  5. Coal-to-Diesel plants are a brilliant idea. Now you can have your very own acid rain, just like East Germany had.

    Have they got to the point of planning a wall to stop the locals from leaving?

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  6. kahikatea – the plan is to mesmerize the locals with the special ‘500 jobs’ spinning disk. No need for a wall.

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  7. I was thinking along similar lines greenfly, red dust all over the place here, and getting thicker! My tunnel house has a nice “glow” to it now, has a kind of calming effect :)

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  8. It’s a strange twist Shunda. Here was I convinced the the Aussies were after our minerals!

    It’s old, tired, exhausted soil, that red stuff. Not worth ploughing in. Might have a bit of depleted uranium in it perhaps. Give your tomatoes a real glow (that’s what you’ve got in your tunnel house, right?)

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  9. Obviously the land should be claimed back if the terms of the gift are betrayed. And if the Crown won’t give it back, a Treaty claim would apply.

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