The pr campaign has begun in earnest. It's going to get dirty. From TVNZ
"At a time when the government is considering opening up more conservation land to mineral exploration, Rio Tinto is giving some back.
The international mining giant is backing a conservation project aimed at helping the westland petrel.Now I'm all for saving the petrel - how did it get to be endangered anyway, did destroying it's habitat have any thing to do with it, perhaps.
"The 80 hectares of land was once a mining site but now the company is giving it back to the community.Good, we'll take it - thanks.
We need to begin solidifying the opposition to mining our national parks. I have started talking with people about the issue and we need to think about meetings and groups. We need some very simplfied messages that cut to the heart of the issue. And these messages will need to be repeated and amplified. Some calls will need to be considered, for instance what is more likely to move people, a beautiful picture of our wilderness or the same picture with an open-cast mine in it. It may be okay to use both when necessary but we will have to go emotional and visceal, and that may mean using images and copy that show the consequences of doing nothing. I still think the whole approach can be positive. It's about protecting our wilderness for all of us to enjoy and marvel at. It is about treasuring the environment and the ecosystems and living within nature instead of fighting nature, and commodifying and corportising nature.
It's about us.