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Should Mining Be Allowed On New Zealand Protected Land?

Updated on September 6, 2012

Mining Is Not Sustainable or Compatible With Ecotourism


In 2009 the right-wing governemnt of New Zealand, the National Party, proposed that New Zealand's conservation areas be opened up to mining. They claimed that this would benefit the economy, be sustainable and not impact on New Zealand's environment or tourism.

Opponents claim that quite apart from missing the entire point of it being Conservation land, mining has large engative impacts on the country around it, most of the profits would go to large overseas companies, or be eaten by by clean-up afterwards. Furthermore, 1000 year old kauris do not spontaneously regrow, Kiwis do not naturally migrate out of protected kiwi habitat so companies can mine, and then come back when it's over - and these alleged minerals are estimates only!

Is Mining Compatible With Conservation? - Can it be environmentally friendly?

Is it worth mining in New Zealand's protected Conservation areas?

See results

How will the New Zealand landscape be affected by Government mining proposals? - Te Karere Maori News TVNZ 16 Mar 2010

Last Year's Profits: Mines versus Ecotourism

Tourism contributes $12.8 billion (or 8.9%) to New Zealand's total GDP and supports nearly 200,000 full-time equivalent jobs (9.9% of the total workforce in New Zealand)

Gold and Silver mining companies made a profit of around $644 million - 1% of that ($6.5 million) was paid to the Crown, the rest for the most part went overseas.(ONE News estimate).

The value of NZ total mineral output in 2006 was $1500 million.



What does the Taxpayer get from mining?

- A possible maximum $60 billion in gold and other precious minerals on high value conservation land

- Mining companies will pay 1% of this potential profit to the Government.

One. Percent. $6 Billion over several years.

How Much Will Be Mined?

The proposed area is 7000 ha of land from Schedule 4.

Schedule 4 land is land that has been specifically protected from mineral exploitation due to its high cultural and environmental value.

82 mines already exist in New Zealand in less restricted areas.

Comments - Mining - what do you think?

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    • profile image

      SteveKaye 5 years ago

      The big question is: When do we stop? We live on a finite planet with finite resources.

    • Hairdresser007 profile image

      James Jordan 7 years ago from Burbank, CA

      No - leave it alone. If it is protected, keep it protected.