Monday, March 02, 2020

Labour's bad faith on mining

In her 2017 speech from the throne, newly-elected Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern promised that "There will be no new mines on conservation land". She lied:

Twenty-one mining applications have been approved on conservation land since Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's speech promising there would be no more.

The delay in legislation to back up the commitment has meant that for the past two years it’s been business as usual, and mining applications have continued to be processed. As one conservationist puts it: "Rome continues to burn" while the promise has floundered.

Between November 2017 and the end of January, 21 mining applications have been approved.

Fourteen of those are mining approvals on land that hasn't been mined before. The remaining seven applications approved were issued for land that had previously been mined or were re-issues of previously approved mining access permissions that had lapsed.

In the two years prior to the announcement, 19 mining applications were approved.

So its not just that Ardern has failed to deliver - she has allowed more mining than National did. And this hasn't happened due to an accident or failure of circumstances - the government simply promised something, then refused to deliver it, refused to expend the political capital to convince its coalition partner so it could keep faith with the public, refused to even admit there was a problem. The message is clear: if you want to protect our wild spaces, don't vote Labour.