Some parts of Government and society call for a ban of mining on conservation land. We set out here more reasons why a mining ban on conservation land makes no sense.
Already mining on national parks is banned and the industry supports this. Placing a ban on the remaining conservation land isn’t necessary as New Zealand has a system where access to the land for mining has to be applied for and approved, with strong environmental safeguards and conditions in place. It is important to note that one-third of New Zealand has been put into the conservation estate, meaning a large chunk of the country would be out of bounds for no sound reason if a ban went ahead.
No one wants to mine in the pristine National Parks that are part of the conservation estate. Opponents of mining will hold up the national parks and use them as bait to initiate conversations about banning mining.
But this ban is thinking small, not big and strategic.
It would be concerning if ideology isolated New Zealand from the rest of the world in the quest to resource a better future with sustainably sourced minerals, responsibly mined in an employment environment that values worker health and safety, working conditions and pay.