Best Earth Day present ever

Well it was about time for a bit of good news on the environmental front wasn’t it?

Today Metiria’s Bill to make it harder to mine in Schedule 4 land was drawn from the ballot, just in time for Earth Day and our series of “Love it, don’t mine it” events around the country.

The Crown Minerals (Protection of Public Conservation Land Listed in the Fourth Schedule) Bill is a bit of a mouthful, but what it does is simple.

At the moment, to allow mining on our most protected conservation land, the Government has to remove land from Schedule 4 by Order in Council (meaning it doesn’t need to pass the changes through Parliament). (Incidentally, the fact that they even have to consult the public to do this is thanks to the foresight of former Green MP and Co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons, who saw something like this coming back in the 90s).

At the end of the day, Gerry Brownlee and his buddies could choose to ignore the 8,000 plus submissions against mining in Schedule 4 and go ahead and make the changes anyway.

Metiria’s Bill would mean that any changes to Schedule 4 would have to be passed by an Act of Parliament, making it harder to mess with our most protected places, and meaning there would be a full and transparent debate and a chance for the changes to be considered by a Select Committee.

It would be a great step towards entrenching the protection of our precious places. The Nats created Schedule 4 and declared the areas in it ‘no-go’ areas for mining: now they have a chance to restore their credibility.

Happy Earth Day everybody!

9 Comments Posted

  1. That’s the one Toad (I was missing an ‘o’. He’s missing a few sandwiches from his picnic basket).

  2. Great call for transparency> We want – don’t we.? — the anthropogenic transparency… everything up front… wysiwyg…

  3. Of course iwi may want mining rights to some minerals on the foreshore and seabed (and National Parks under ti tirritti):

    DUNCAN So are you effectively saying here this morning that you perhaps are willing to compromise around that minerals issue because it’s quite important to Maori, well certainly the Maori I’ve spoken to.

    CHRIS Oh I think the socalled traditional reserved ones, Gerry’s already said are off the table, I’m prepared to hear what folk have to say in the course of my hui and public meetings, and then I’ll report back to the Cabinet.

    DUNCAN And if they say to you that we would like those select minerals taken out of any repeal, what do you say to that?

    CHRIS Oh as I say I’m about to embark on a number of hui, and in public meetings and then I’ll be reporting back to Cabinet, and then I’ll be able to report to you in late May.

  4. Brilliant!
    Just finished with our Earth Day activity down here in Invercargill. Five of us collected almost 200 signatures for Metiria’s National Park protection petition in less than an hour. The only people who had strong views against the petition were over 50. Yet again we have one generation making decisions that will have long term consequences for the following ones. It would be interesting to see a demographic breakdown of mining supporters.

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