WWF condemns mining of national parks proposal as ‘100% pure shame’
“Some land has such high conservation value that it should never be mined. Experts have designated ‘Schedule 4’ land as being of high conservation value. The concept of mining conservation land in schedule 4 is therefore fundamentally wrong," said WWF-New Zealand Executive Director Chris Howe.
He said that mining conservation land for short-term profit was not in the best interests of New Zealanders: "Conservation areas are a renewable resource that can benefit New Zealanders in perpetuity. Mineral extraction is inherently non-renewable. Once the minerals are gone, they're gone. Conservation value is timeless."
The global conservation organisation said that the proposal would be damaging to nature, people and to the New Zealand economy:
"Permitting mineral extraction on high conservation value Schedule 4 land is likely to undermine New Zealand’s ‘100% Pure’ image which is already being questioned overseas. Damage to this image could place shame on our ability to protect our unique natural environment, and take many years to repair," said WWF's Chris Howe.
"It is clear the Government has failed to assess the potential costs versus the potential benefits. Conservation land provides many valuable services that are often overlooked such as soil conservation, nutrient recycling, water purification and carbon sequestration and eco-tourism. We urge the Government to rethink their position on mining high value conservation land which belongs to all New Zealanders."