GUEST BLOG: Denis Tegg – No New Mines on Conservation Land – says New Government

By   /   November 13, 2017  /   2 Comments

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After nearly 40 years of protesting, lobbying, direct action, media, and general political and social pressure the new government has announced that there will be no new mines on conservation land throughout New Zealand!  Yeah !

Huge Win for Coromandel Communities

After nearly 40 years of protesting, lobbying, direct action, media, and general political and social pressure the new government has announced that there will be no new mines on conservation land throughout New Zealand!  Yeah !

The new Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage made the following announcement today…..

“The Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage has today confirmed that the new Government will strengthen the protection for public conservation land by making it off-limits for new mining.

The announcement was made as part of the Speech from the Throne given today at Parliament, which outlined the Government’s policy and legislative proposals.

“Public conservation lands are set aside for nature to thrive and for New Zealanders and visitors to enjoy. Mining, especially open-cast mining runs counter to that. It destroys indigenous vegetation and habitats, permanently changes natural landscapes and can create sizeable waste rock dumps with a risk of acid mine drainage polluting waterways.

“New Zealanders expect to see our conservation lands and their wild landscapes and indigenous plants and wildlife protected from being dug up by bulldozers and diggers.

“We have a biodiversity crisis with 4,000 of our native plants and wildlife threatened with, or at risk of extinction. The places they live need protection.

“We need to build a sustainable, modern, clean green economy for all New Zealanders. New mines on our protected lands are not going to take us there.

“Coal mining adds to the climate crisis and new mines generally have a 15-year lifespan. Once the coal is gone, the jobs are gone and so is the unique environment of places like the West Coast – which is the basis of a sustainable economy and long-term jobs.

“Places like the West Coast and Coromandel have diversified their economies on the back of their stunning natural beauty and landscapes, and the warmth of local communities. This Government is committed to helping workers in these regions make a just transition from mining.

“Tourism on the West Coast is now responsible for more jobs than the mining sector. It’s crucial that we protect the very thing that draws visitors – unequalled beech and rimu forests, river valleys and a network of huts and tracks.

“The Green Party’s confidence and supply agreement with Labour included a goal of significantly increasing the funding for the Department of Conservation (DOC). I welcome the commitment to that in the Speech from the Throne. The Department of Conservation has been under resourced for the last nine years. We need to scale up its capacity,” said Minister Sage.”

This is all the information I have at this stage. Obviously, some more detail needs to come out. But for the moment we can celebrate this is a huge win for the Coromandel and its communities.


Denis Tegg is a Thames lawyer with an interest in state surveillance and the erosion of civil liberties

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  1. Pat O'Dea says:

    The Talisman is a new mine being built on conservation land.

    Will the government stop that?

    “New Talisman Gold Mines has consent to start mining activities on conservation land in the Karangahake area”

    In June 2017 they started prospecting and site preparation activities, and they plan to begin the bulk sampling phase in early 2018. New Talisman’s stated aim is to take this historical mine back into full production – but this community has other ideas. Check out our blog posts, follow us on Facebook, or join up to get involved and receive regular email updates about what we are doing to stop the mining.

    Don’t let this priceless conservation land be ruined for other people’s gold.
    Experiences in places like this make life awesome – mining not so much.

    • Danyl Strype says:

      I’m not going to hold my breath, but it’s encouraging that our Minister of Conservation is a former member of Native Forest Action, a direct action campaign against Timberlands native logging on the West Coat. Also encouraging that DoC have been liberated from an ecocidal pro-mining government that has been hobbling their ability to defend conservations values for a decade. A community campaign to protect Karangahake is more likely to be successful under this government than it would have been under the NatACTs. The same is true of the seabed mining that KASM have been campaigning against.