Saturday, May 1, 2010

Protest against mining one of the biggest in New Zealand's history

Backstory: Recently in New Zealand, there's been controversey surrounding mining of national park conservation land, or schedule 4 land. This is land put aside for conservation. Not land used for building or mining. The current government wants to change this so the conservation land can be used to mine coal or other minerals. The head of the reserve bank has stated this is a fruitless thing to do. There has been plans to mine several areas.

Today New Zealand had one of the biggest protests in its history. Around 50,000 people marched against the mining of conservation land. Congratulations everybody, I wish I could of been there to feel the energy and contribute. It sends a strong message that this land is precious to our enviornment and the ancestors of this country. The government has tried to give the impression that anyone protesting mining of schedule 4 land is against all mining. People aren't falling for it. Many recognise we need minerals for things like cars or computers. But mining for the sake of mining is pretty useless. These are overseas companies that want to take nearly the whole cake and leave us with some crumbs.

Our Prime Minister, John Key has said: "National will be on the lookout for new and innovative solutions to environmental challenges." Mining our conservation land is not a innovate solution to our enviornmental challenges. He's also said: "Our environment isn’t just a bonus. It’s part of being a Kiwi. It underpins our enviable quality of life. It gives us an in-built edge over many of our economic rivals. I’m thinking, for example, of what Australia would do for our abundant water resources. And, increasingly, New Zealand’s environmental credentials will underpin our prosperity and our trade profile." Now this inbuilt edge is under threat for the sake of a few cents, in the bigger picture.

Many New Zealanders are disappointed with John Key's stance on the enviornment. General Manager of Forest and Bird explains this: "In the past six months, environmentalists have observed with increasing disquiet a range of announcements from the Government that threaten damaging consequences for the environment. For example, Mr Key's pre-election promises on climate change have not been followed through by his actions in Government."

Thank you to everyone who showed up or supports it. Mining for the sake of mining is not what this country needs. If you're wanting to get involved or more involved, check Forest and Bird for ideas.

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