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Poll Shows Support for Mining

( Energy and Resources Minister Gerry Brownlee says he is encouraged by a poll out in today’s Sunday Star Times showing good levels of support for the government’s plans to prospect for valuable minerals in a small area of what is presently Schedule Four conservation land.

The poll of 708 Sunday Star Times readers showed combined support of 43 per cent for National’s plan to open up 7,058 hectares of Schedule Four, with 22 per cent undecided on the plan’s merits, and 35 per cent of those questioned opposed.

“I admit there is work to be done to educate the public about both the modesty and responsibility of the government’s plans, but this is an encouraging start,” Mr Brownlee said.

“I’m pleased to see people are weighing up the proposition from a rational and considered perspective.

“I am of course aware that no New Zealander wants to see our clean, green image tarnished in any way.

“The government has no intention of harming our most pristine wilderness areas, and I would remind the public that of the country’s 14 National Parks only 8.4 per cent of one, the Paparoa, is under consideration for removal from Schedule Four.

“This is an area that has only had Schedule Four status for two years, and was given that status by the last Labour government against the advice of the Department of Conservation.”

Mr Brownlee said the public should remember that the government’s plan is merely to release land from Schedule Four status for the purposes of a stocktake.

“This is a debate about allowing us to do an audit of what’s there, meaning any talk of what sort of mining might be done is extremely premature.”

Mr Brownlee welcomed submissions on the government’s consultation paper. The document can be reviewed, and submissions made, at

Media Release 28 March 2010 from Hon Gerry Brownlee, Minister of Energy and Resources.
Telephone (04)817 6802



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