Rat on the green party menu

Green Party co-leader James Shaw. Photoshopped Image credit: Luke

They won’t like it, others may not like it either, but anyone serious about turning our failing business confidence around or resurrecting the ailing economy must first eat the dead rat lying in front of them.

This government turned its nose up at the oil and gas industry rat, preferring instead to kiss goodbye to some of the 11,000 direct jobs and the future of the current $2.5 billion contribution that the industry makes to our GDP. They made this decision without any prior consultation whatsoever with the industry.

Our mining industry annually contributes $2.6 billion to the economy and provides 4,300 direct jobs, each earning on average $105,000 per annum. Now they wait with bated breath to learn their fate, not at all confident following the government’s treatment of their oil and gas industry cousins.

Hardly a lifeline, the mining industry will be consulted before the government reviews the Crown Minerals Act, the governing document for mining permits.

As with the oil and gas industry, there are many peripheral businesses supporting the industry who stand to lose out as well. They must also be seething at the injustice dealt to mining’s cousins. Quote.

New Zealand’s oil and gas production is concentrated in Taranaki. The contribution the sector has made to that region has been immense – accounting for 30 percent of Taranaki’s GDP and two percent of regional employment.

Oil and gas are one of the key reasons Taranaki has the highest regional GDP per person in New Zealand, at over $71,297, compared to a national average of $54,178.” End of quote.

The Taranaki region will be hit hard. The mining sector, similarly located in the provinces, may also feel the destructive power of this government’s decision making. Simon Hartley wrote for NZ Resources recently saying: Quote.

New Zealand’s mining sector is facing its toughest battle ever as the Government winds its way toward reviewing the Crown Minerals Act, which governs the permitting of land for mining.

Crucial to the review is Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern having said “no new mines on conservation land” last year, which was much reported as this generation’s “no nuclear” moment.” End of quote.

Cindy has had a few nuclear moments recently, she must be positively glowing in the dark by now. As usual, there is very little detail given with these broad brush stroke media releases, leaving the industry to contemplate the worst. This government has a real knack for destroying business confidence. Quote.

The lack of details on this stance has the mining sector in a tailspin, given a third of the country is covered by one of five types of conservation land. Conversely, it has been estimated just 0.08% of all Department of Conservation land has mining permits covering or overlapping it.

Environmentalists will be clamouring for the Coalition Government to make the most of this opportunity, to radically change the face and future of mining. At present the review is expected to be opened to public consultation next month.

The closing period is expected to be either in late-December, or as the mining sector hopes, in February, with a decision possibly within four to six months after that.” End of quote.

In case you are thinking that the previous government did better – it didn’t. It seems that rats are off the menu for all political parties. Quote.

Ironically, the National Party did little to assist the mining sector in its last nine years in power, other than pumping more than $12 million into country-wide aeromagnetic research and its instigation of annual block offers for international oil and gas companies to tender for new onshore and offshore exploration sites.” End of quote.

Do we kiss this $12 million investment goodbye? We do if this government insists on putting the brakes on the mining industry too.

Delegates at the recent 2018 New Zealand meeting of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (AusIMM) represent all sectors of mining in New Zealand and their attitude was reported as follows. Quote.

The mining sector is frustrated, its message of the necessity for mineral exploration and its rewards from contributing to the economy, manufacturing and technological advances appears to fly under the public’s radar.

The public seem to have become immune to hearing of the gravel, steel and aluminium needed to build a wind turbine or the hundreds of minerals required to make a cell phone.

The mining fraternity and environmentalists remain poles apart, and it is unlikely they could sit in an auditorium together and publicly debate the issues.” End of quote.

Does anyone really think idealistic greenies will throw away their cell phones along with their carbon and steel bicycles?  They would if they were really serious about the environment.

Instead, they ignore the inconvenient fact that closing down our mining industry means we have to source essential minerals overseas, and we become environmental parasites.  As far as the greenies are concerned, it’s okay for someone else to do it, but not in our back yard, thanks.  Meanwhile, our mining industry is forced to sit on their hands while this government quibbles about re-useable plastic bags.

If the government forces the closure of mineral exploration and extraction we have no choice but to rely on costly imports for our steel manufacture, along with the other minerals needed for technology and manufacturing.

Hypocritical doesn’t even begin to describe environmentalist attitudes if they force this move.

Sourcing minerals from the third world or developing countries who do not employ safe practices, or scarcely consider environmental outcomes, is irresponsible behaviour.  We can do better.

If the greenies really think about the consequences of this decision they will be forced to eat the dead rat lying on the plate in front of them.

Dead rat for dinner


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The subject evoked in the collage is the debating of political issues with friends in a public place

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Glass and bottle of Suze (after 18 November 1912)
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