by Catherine Delahunty
Yesterday I joined what will undoubtedly be the first in a series of protests against the Government’s plans for mining in Schedule 4 land. Conservative media estimates put the numbers at 500, but I reckon it was closer to 1000.
Metiria’s speech was a rousing call to action, and she contrasted Conservation Minister Kate Wilkinson’s outrage over tourists’ smuggling of geckos and shooting of kereru with her failure to stand up for the habitat of our threatened species in the face of Gerry Brownlee’s bullish determination to mine it.
And while Phil Goff burst our eardrums with his new found outrage, Metiria pointed out that the tireless campaign to protect the iconic Happy Valley from being dug up for coal was stymied at every turn by a Labour Government.
Visual highlights from the day were the young women painted in Avatar blue, the radical cheerleaders, and my favourite placard: ‘Surgical mining, its like Scientific Whaling’. Yep.
Big ups to Nelson man Joni Bridges for kick-starting the whole thing and getting such a diverse and passionate bunch of people together to resoundingly tell the Government, ‘Not Mine, Ours!!!’
This is just the start of a long and fierce campaign. If you haven’t already, check out our submission guide and make your voice heard before submissions close on May 4.
As one of the veterans of the Hauraki/Coromandel campaign, it was really inspiring to see so many people expressing their love of this land and their contempt for short sighted policy.
I know from experience that all that stands between foreign mining companies and our treasured lands is our passion – and it’s people who will stop them!
I look forward to seeing you and your families on the protest lines – let’s show the Nats we mean it when we say NO MINING IN NATIONAL PARKS!