Category Archives: Green Party

Do You Want Mining Companies To Have Easier Access To Your Land?

The Government is currently reviewing the Crown Minerals Act 1991, and submissions on the review close on Friday 20 April. We think it’s a good idea for as many people as possible to submit on this review – so, if making submissions is your thing, this is a good thing to submit on.

Why? Well, to address the headline issue first, there have been suggestions that the Government plans to use this review to water down or even remove the provisions in the Crown Minerals Act that currently give private landowners the right to refuse mining companies access to their land. We think this might be quite an unpopular change, not least with farmers.

But there are other, wider matters worth commenting on, as outlined in the excellent submission guide on the Green Party blog at http://www.greens.org.nz/takeaction/submissionguides/review-crown-minerals-act-1991-regime - the following bullet points come from the Green Party submission guide:

  • Currently the Crown Minerals Act allows the Government to grant permits for deep sea oil drilling. We suggest amending the Crown Minerals Act to prohibit permits for prospecting, exploration and production of oil in waters greater than 200 metres deep. Deep sea oil drilling is too risky.
  • Under the Crown Minerals Act, the Government grants permits for oil and gas exploration that allow companies to use the controversial practice of fracking – pumping water, sand and chemicals at high pressure deep into the earth in order to extract oil and gas. Please tell the Government that oil and gas exploration permits should not allow fracking until the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment can assure the public it is safe.
  • Mining and extraction has adverse effects on landforms, oceans, waterways and ecosystems. It is currently prohibited in National Parks and various other types of reserve, but under the Crown Minerals Act 1991 it occurs contentiously in other parts of the conservation estate. Tell the Government to amend the Crown Minerals Act to prohibit new exploration, prospecting and mining on conservation land and reserves.

The Green Party submission guide lists many more aspects of the review that you can comment on, and tells you the ways that you can make a submission. Here is some further information:

Submissions due: 5pm Friday 20 April 2012

Postal address: Resources Policy Group, Ministry of Economic Development, PO Box 1473, Wellington 6140

EmailCMAReview@med.govt.nz

There are a series of review questions that the Ministry is asking for feedback on, and of particular interest is Chapter 2: Health, safety and environmental (HSE) matters. It is a fairly short chapter to read and worth giving feedback on! Also of interest are Chapter 4: Petroleum, and Chapter 5: Tier 1 Minerals, especially the review questions relating to HSE matters.

The Green Party Mining Our Future Community Tour

Green Party MPs Catherine Delahunty and Gareth Hughes are holding a series of hui to discuss the Government’s broad “drill it, mine it” agenda for Aotearoa:

What’s happening, what does it mean to our environment and communities and how do we stop it? These meetings are aimed at groups and individuals who are interested and engaged in working to protect Aotearoa from the destructive social and environmental impacts of mining.
From coal (lignite and conventional), gold, iron sands and other mineral mining to fracking and deep sea oil drilling there is a broad agenda of resource extraction on the table. We would like to discuss with you your concerns and the impacts, risks and opportunities towards clean alternatives and a green economy.

Auckland – Wednesday 11th April, 7 – 9pm
Lecture Theatre B15, Library Basement, University of Auckland

Hamilton – Monday 16th April, 7 – 9pm
Trade Union Centre, 34 Harwood Street

Wellington – Tuesday 17th April, 7 – 8.30pm
Mezzanine Room, Wellington Library, 65 Victoria Street

Christchurch – Thursday 19th April, 7 – 9pm
Workers Educational Association, 59 Gloucester Street

Dunedin – Monday 30th April, 7.30 – 9.30pm
Practice Room, Clubs and Societies Building, 84 Albany Street

For more information contact Alina Siegfried on 04 801 5297 or alina.siegfried@parliament.govt.nz

Advance media coverage of the Keep the Coal in the Hole Summer Festival

Otago Daily Times: Campaigners plan anti-mining festival

Southland Times: Activists prepare to keep coal in hole

Plus, Julie Anne Genter is blogging her cycle journey to the Festival: at frogblog and Jeanette Fitzsimons had The high cost of lignite projects published in the Dominion Post.

Keep the Coal in the Hole – Jeanette Fitzsimons speech

 

The Earth is one of those things that are bigger than politics and if we are to protect it we need to rise above the petty scrapping that often passes for political debate.

I look forward to a future Earth Day when we can celebrate New Zealand’s leading role in seriously reducing emissions from dirty fuels like coal. I look forward to a day when kiwi and wetlands are valued more than the export dollars underneath them, and when we can flick on a light and know that energy came from renewable and non-polluting sources.

Read on…