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The Super PitPrevious Story: Should NZ Allow Mining 3

“So what did you conclude after our discussion yesterday?” Rosh asked his younger son.

“I think the Government should continue to allow mining and oil drilling in New Zealand”, said Josh.

"Though it’s not the best for environment, it would be foolish to ‘abolish’ it from New Zealand completely, as we would have to earn the lost revenue from elsewhere."

"As Greens co-leader Russel Norman himself conceded to TV3 News in 2012: You can't escape it."

“I read that mining industry is making changes to mining methods and procedures. Natural gas, which used to be released into the atmosphere as a greenhouse gas while mining, is now captured and used as a more efficient fuel than oil and coal.”

“Post mineral harvesting, land used to be left as a deforested waste land. In my quick research, I was unable to find any old mines which the mining companies have rehabilitated. We should require miners to meet progressively phased land rehabilitation milestones."

"This will encourage them to convert wasteland into land suitable for habitation or cultivation on periodic basis within the consent timeframes rather than at project end as is the norm currently, when enforcement becomes problematical."

"I’m sure that if New Zealand pioneers this change, not only would it lead to more responsible mining, but also Kiwis would then be more inclined to support mining, even if it is on conservation land.”

“That’s an interesting idea,” interjected Rosh, “Since spending on a mine falls into several phases: prospecting, exploration, development, mining, and rehabilitation, it would stand to reason that these phases would follow each other sequentially. So it might be easier said than done. But progressive rehab is certainly an idea worth looking into, I think.”

The Super Pit“In 2013,” Josh continued, emboldened by his father’s approval, “the Government opened up another 434,000 square kilometers of ocean and land to oil and gas exploration - twice what it allowed the year before."

"The companies' permits allowed them to do drilling and survey work even though they did not include mining rights just yet."

"Even though I support mining in New Zealand and understand that not all the areas earmarked for exploration may be mined, perhaps not so much of our untouched nature should be tampered with.”

“Government wouldn't invest resources into reviewing our mineral wealth if it didn't intend to exploit it."

"It is also clear that New Zealand needs money. If we didn’t, we wouldn’t be selling our state assets."

"People naturally want the Government to provide more and more free or subsidized services. Be they early childhood education or more hospital beds, more roads or more police on the roads."

"If citizens want these services but don’t want to be taxed out of the country altogether, the Government must look at more innovative ways of generating revenue."

"If we have to sell our assets, minerals should be and would be as much on the auction table as our power companies. So I think at least some Mining will be allowed in the future on some conserved land.”

“In this context, it is important to note the Green Party’s observation that 90% of deep-sea drilling profits end up offshore. I think focusing on improving our profitability from the existing contracts and fine tuning further our industry taxation regime will reduce the need to open up more and more of our resources to mining."

"Even if it means that less projects get off the ground immediately, it might not be such a bad thing in the long run. It might actually end up saving us some of our limited resource for future domestic consumption rather than depleting it faster now to earn foreign exchange. The 2008 Global Financial crisis showed that smaller economies suffer more in crisis due to loss in foreign exchange rates and flight of capital.”

“At the rate our world is using coal, there won’t be any left in a 100 years’ time. We should incentivize alternative fuels usage and research and continue to invest in increasing our generation capability in alternative energies."

"New Zealand is doing a good job in educating consumers in energy efficiency, water conservation and resource recycling. But we are just one of the players that need energy."

“Unless we are vigilant and act decisively, mining will continue to pollute and contaminate surrounding areas. Up until the time coal finishes, there will be a demand for it from poorer countries and it will continue to produce carbon dioxide, which means more greenhouse gasses and pollution. I agree with Al Gore. I think we should prepare for global warming."

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