Many people would have us believe the Government is going to mine conservation land holus-bolus. That suits their agenda to push that line. In fact, the Government has done just one thing – release a discussion paper on unlocking the potential of mineral resources for the benefit of all New Zealanders.

A small amount of discrete mining has the potential to earn us millions of dollars. There are two key points to this – firstly, it is a discussion paper – that means all aspects of it are up for debate. Secondly, it is not just about the tiny amount of land in the conservation estate, which anti-mining groups have focused on – it is about taking a stocktake of all our mineral resources.

Information on New Zealand’s mineral potential is limited and Government has a role to improve our knowledge of the mineral estate. It does not mean wholesale bulldozing of national parks.