The Green Party has today launched a petition calling for conservation land to be protected from mining by big overseas companies such as Mineralogy International Limited, which Australian billionaire Clive Palmer is a director of.
“Aotearoa is home to some of the world’s unique plants and animals that must be protected. Right now, big mining companies are allowed to tear through these fragile habitats threatening the native plants and animals that live there,” says Green Party spokesperson for conservation Eugenie Sage.
“In 2017 Labour pledged they would stop new mining on conservation land. My members’ bill would do exactly that. It’s time to match actions with words.
"MBIE has granted Australian mining company, Mineralogy International, at least 10 mineral permits to explore and prospect for minerals.
“This includes some of our most precious conservation land. The company has another four applications pending which MBIE has yet to decide.
“The minerals permits include part of Puketī Forest, one of Aotearoa’s few surviving unlogged kauri forests. Local hapū have been fighting for decades to protect the forest and water sources of Whakarara maunga.
“One of the prospecting permits also covers 28,000 hectares of conservation and private land around Kōtuku Moana Lake Brunner, the largest lake on the West Coast. This includes significant ancient podocarp forest.
“Clive Palmer is a mining billionaire, and Australia’s fifth richest person. Mining is invasive and can harm biodiversity and ecosystems. It can leave local communities to deal with severe environmental harm and the aftermath of a boom and bust employment cycle.
“Companies such as Mineralogy International Limited should not be able to plunder nature here, especially on conservation land.
“These lands and waters are supposed to be protected so our native plants and wildlife can thrive. The drilling and earthworks which prospecting permits allow can harm nature and are steps towards more destructive mining.
“Our public conservation lands exist to protect our wild and wonderful natural places and landscapes, and all the amazing native plants and wildlife that call them home. Not to provide places for billionaires to mine to increase their wealth.
“In a biodiversity and climate crisis it’s time to put the health of our lands, forests, wildlife, and waterways above the short-term profit of mining companies,” says Eugenie Sage.