Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Digging up our natural heritage... for shingle

The government has released some of the background geologists reports on areas it wants to remove from the protection of schedule 4 and mine. The one on the Parakawai Ecological Area [PDF] makes interesting reading. It identifies the primary resource in the area as "aggregate". Yes, that's right - the government wants to dig up an ecological reserve for a shingle pit.

Aggregate is not exactly rare. Statistics New Zealand puts the total resource as "undefined, but large" - meaning we have enough to last us forever. So why would we want to dig up a protected area for it? There's plenty is less valuable parts of the country. It seems like pure ecological vandalism, driven by anti-environmentalist spite.