Good editorial from the ODT. From the bottom up.
"As Southland Mayor Frana Cardno put it when asked if drilling should be allowed in Fiordland: "No. Definitely not." "
"The outcry over what at this stage is simply an attempt to initiate a discussion on whether some low-grade "conservation land", were it found to be the source of great potential wealth, could be freed up, is over the top."
No it is not over the top at all - it is a concerned call from people.
"But given the explicit moves the Government has made to date - including with its Emissions Trading Scheme, its initiatives to loosen up the Resource Management Act, and the establishment of the dubiously named Environmental Protection Authority (allowing the Government to take a more active role in managing the country's natural resources) - it cannot be surprised. Nor should Mr Brownlee feign umbrage at the entirely predictable reaction, however improbable exploration in Fiordland might be."
You have just answered the question of why people are concerned.
"All development and much agriculture is, in the end, a compromise between creating wealth and minimising environmental effects: the economic history of this country with its wealth built on primary production illustrates that precisely.
But this does not mean the issue should proceed without rigorous and candid debate - whether on balancing the benefits of unconstrained dairy conversions with the detrimental effects on river water quality in Southland; the value of mining lignite in South Otago to manufacture urea with the costs of the associated carbon emissions; or indeed the exploration of a World Heritage Site, Fiordland, for petroleum against the economic and cultural benefits this pristine place of great beauty lends the country. "
The debate is centred around which can earn more money - agriculture, mining or tourism. my point is that there are bigger issues to consider than money, such as future sustainability, water quality, mono-agriculture, greed and the selling off of our land to overseas interests. hell the land should be given back to maori from where it was stolen.
Brownlee says, "that his Government was going to be "far more pragmatic and supportive" than the last towards "exploration and mining activity", and that he, as Minister for Energy and Resources, was "committed to unlocking New Zealand's mineral potential for the benefit of New Zealanders", and further that "reasonable access to the mineral estate in Crown-owned land, particularly conservation land, is a key issue". "
Get that - brownlee is COMMITTED to unlocking NZ mineral wealth. COMMITTED - deals have been done and this glove puppet has already COMMITTED himself to his selfish, greedy cause.
"Minister of Energy and Resources Gerry Brownlee has described reaction to a Government paper proposing a "mineral stocktake" of protected conservation land as "hysterical".
To an extent he is correct, although the equivocal responses he and Conservation Minister Tim Groser have thus far given to questions on precisely what, in the conservation estate, would be unequivocally off limits do little to lessen the "hysteria".
It could be argued the act of assessing the petroleum potential of the Waitutu forest in the Fiordland National Park, while at the same time reviewing schedule four of the Crown Minerals Act - which bans mining access to New Zealand's highest conservation areas - is not unakin to finding a bunch of needy citizens with of a precise map of the gold bullion vaults in Fort Knox, along with the security codes to gain entry.
They may not ever use them but some people may be concerned that one day, and under certain circumstances, the temptation might just prove too great. "
And up to the start of the editorial. The reaction has not been hysterical at all. And the temptation has already proved to much for brownlee and his minions.