I blogged a couple of weeks ago on my opposition to the New Zealand Government’s plans to allow mining in our National Parks and other areas of high-value conservation land. Submissions on these proposals are open until Wednesday 26 May, and the Green Party has prepared a very helpful submission guide, including a link to the official online submission form.
You can find it here: http://www.greens.org.nz/submissions/submission-guide-mining-schedule-4
Making submissions is necessary, but not sufficient, to stop these mining plans going ahead. It’s also important that you talk to your local National MP and express your opposition to these plans. Here is a list of National MPs, with contact details: http://www.national.org.nz/MPList.aspx
(Don’t worry – most of them don’t bite, and some of the more liberal National MPs in urban areas are already concerned about the environmental -and electoral – impact of these mining plans.)
If you live overseas and want to help this campaign, then go straight to the top: email Prime Minister John Key at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell him what you think. If the prospect of visiting New Zealand is less appealing to you thanks to these mining plans, or if they put you off buying New Zealand goods, I suggest you mention that as well.
Finally, the plans to mine Great Barrier Island and the Coromandel Peninsula have got most of the attention, but even if the Government decided to drop those plans, a lot of other areas of great beauty and environmental importance are at risk: for example, Stewart Island (Rakiura) is in the Government’s sights. Take a look at this article about Solid Energy’s plans to mine Paparoa National Park:
Digging up highly polluting coal in a National Park to power the expansion of highly polluting dairy farming. That pretty much sums up this Government’s attitude to the environment.