A ban on mining on conservation land will not produce the environmental benefits its proponents suggest, yet it will have serious impacts on the New Zealand economy.
We risk losing jobs, overseas revenue, investment, export markets, taxes and funding (that can help manage and improve the conservation estate). Most importantly we risk destroying livelihoods in important regions and wiping out entire communities.
Mining makes a contribution to the New Zealand economy. And there is tremendous potential for growth.
It has been said that places such as the West Coast would do well to move out of mining and shift into tourism and that a conservation land ban would encourage this. But a shift out of mining would hurt regional economies because of the sector’s high productivity and high wages relative to other industries. And it is going to take a long time for tourism to recover, if ever, after the lockdowns and closures New Zealand has endured in the past few years.