INDEPENDENT NEWS

Open Letter To Minister Of Conservation

Published: Thu 23 Aug 2001 09:53 AM
S. Te Hakamatua
Minister of Conservation
Please accept my congratulations on your handling of the proposed expansion of rock-crushing on public land near Reefton.
You have correctly reflected conservation values and the general public interest in the property, as is your duty. That is why the process is not left entirely to local & regional govt.
I suggest you should defend with even more vigour your retaining of experienced conservationists on your staff. Those moaning do not complain that most other govtl advice comes from econobabblers, growthmaniacs, etc. It is of course the duty of the Minister of Conservation to be fully advised by those who really understand conservation; few if any such persons have refrained from open advocacy of conservation, and neither they should. Such a background is in no way a disqualifier for the role of advising you. Those who have routinely advocated mindless destruction are allowed to advise ministers; you, of all ministers, must also be advised by those who understand ecology.
The media of course fail to mention the fact that the intended product - gold - is not needed. More than enough gold to perform any useful function is already mined and available. Perhaps that is one reason why the price has remained low for a decade.
I wonder too whether you could counterattack on the basis that the foreign mining company which is playing Santa Claus has already held for many years full permission to proceed with the project, but has not found it worth starting. Now they are trying on a 'double or quits' stunt. But the price of gold continues depressed. What they originally applied to do is legally open for them to do; if it's so worthwhile, why aren't they doing it? Why aren't they already hiring a hundred or so Coasters, as they claim they intend? Are they perhaps trying to engineer an excuse to offflounce, blaming you? If you can keep your head while all around are losing theirs, and blaming it on you ...
As a strong critic of your mediocre general performance, I take pleasure in giving credit where it is due.
Sincerely
Robt Mann Remuera
- Robt Mann consultant ecologist
P O Box 28878
Remuera, Auckland 1005,
New Zealand (9) 524 2949

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