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Mining Proposals Worse Than Forest & Bird Feared

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Mining Proposals Worse Than Forest & Bird Feared

Forest & Bird is alarmed to learn that the Government wants to mine even more national parks and other top conservation land than it expected.

Last week, Forest & Bird identified the Government's mining targets but its proposals are even more widespread. New Zealanders from Northland to Stewart Island will be directly affected if the mining goes ahead. The review will cover top conservation areas such as the Kaikoura Ranges, Dun Mountain east of Nelson, Longwood area in Southland and the Northland region.

Forest & Bird Advocacy Manager Kevin Hackwell says no part of New Zealand's high-value conservation estate is safe from mining. "Even parts of the central North Island are targeted. This could include Tongariro National Park - a World Heritage Area."

Other areas - which Forest & Bird revealed last week - include Mt Aspiring National Park, Kahurangi National Park and Stewart Island's Rakiura National Park.

Despite the Government's rhetoric about responsible mining, the proposals allow open-cast mining and tailings dams. There will continue to be no public notification or consultation before mining access is granted on conservation land.

The Government's conservation fund is less than the Department of Conservation budget cuts of $53 million over four years. The fund will range from $2 million to $10 million a year.

"You can't save precious areas by destroying them," Kevin Hackwell says.

"The proposal is proof that the Government fails to see the value of conservation land - for tourism, for recreation and for the unique plants and animals it protects," Kevin Hackwell says. "We hope thousands of New Zealanders will let the Government know that they don't want mining in national parks."

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