The Green Party is today welcoming reports of Government progress towards having no new mines on conservation land.
“We are encouraged to hear that the Government will potentially introduce legislation this year to protect conservation land from new mining, a promise made in the 2017 Speech from the Throne, and urge the new Minister to ensure it includes stewardship land,” says Green Party spokesperson for conservation Eugenie Sage.
“My Crown Minerals (Prohibition of Mining) member’s bill was pulled from the biscuit tin ballot last year and is due to be read soon. The Green Party would welcome Labour’s support as the quickest way to deliver on their 2017 promise.
“Aotearoa is home to some of the world’s unique plants and animals, and many of our wild places are unsurpassed as nature’s taonga.
“However, because of the rules and law set down by the previous National government, big mining companies have been allowed to dig up land set aside for conservation. They tear through fragile habitats and threaten the native plants and animals that live there and New Zealanders’ enjoyment of conservation lands.
“Legislation to stop new mining on conservation land would mean that New Zealanders can be sure that our natural environment is protected from mining.
“It is crucial that any legislation includes stewardship land because it makes up around a third of the conservation estate. This includes outstanding natural landscapes, forests and wildlife habitat on the Te Tai Poutini coast.
“There are large areas of stunning rainforest, estuaries and river valleys south of the Weheka Cook River on Te Tai Poutini the West Coast which are currently stewardship land while also being part of the internationally recognised Te Wai Pounamu South West New Zealand World Heritage Area.
“We look forward to seeing the details of the Government’s plan, and hope that no new mines on conservation land is a priority for the new Prime Minister,” says Eugenie Sage.