Friday, February 26, 2010

A sham consultation on mining

When questioned on National's plans for mining in national parks, government ministers have repeatedly referred to a consultation document due out next month. "Wait for the discussion document", they've said. "The public will be able to have its say then".

Now it turns out that Cabinet has already approved stripping protection from 7,000 hectares of schedule 4 land. So the "discussion document" and public consultation is a sham - the decision has already been made, and the discussion has already happened - around the Cabinet table, without any input from the public. Its a perfect example of the autocratic style of this government, and one which is not going to endear it to voters.

On the plus side, the government has apparently reduced the amount of land it wants to mine. That's good, but any mining in national parks is too much. They are our most valuable natural areas, and they need to be preserved, not dug up.