The recent protests against mining in protected areas and the protests against the sacking of Ecan and their replacement by nationally appointed commissioners were somewhat heartening to hear about after the announcements. A Greenpeace video shows the huge groups that turned out to the former and Radio NZ mentioned the latter protest briefly (I can’t seem to find an mainstream media article about it though) during the protest itself, which they estimated about 300 people turned up to. They also have an article (via signon) with plenty of photos of the event.
Regarding the mining issue, John Key and Gerry Brownlee have tried to give the impression that NZ is divided “50/50”, which seems an obtuse statement considering the size and sophistication of the protests, both on the street and as expressed through social networking sites (there’s a Facebook group if you haven’t joined already, or you can “like” the “ours not mine” thingee). Brownlee noted that mining already happens on conservation land, as if that were somehow justification for further exploitation. Mostly though there are calls that it will benefit the economy, although what “economy” means in this context has not been elaborated on. Any guesses why?
Sadly, it looks like there will be no more election with regards to Ecan until 2013.
Greens articles on the mining issue + submission
or…send a submission via “Don’t undermine NZ” (Greenpeace)
A discussion about the debate “To Mine or not to Mine” that was televised on Back Benches