Crown Minerals Act

Why is it much, much worse for protesters to interfere with oil exploration at sea than on the land?

A couple of years ago I wrote this post about the attempts to stop Petrobras surveying for oil in the seas off East Cape.

Middle Earth, as my colleague quipped: it’s like that’s what we’re aiming for, one massive hole in the ground. Our legal landscape is changing, with mining in view. It’s not just the EEZ, or the RMA, or the Crown Minerals Act - it’s all of them. The ground is shifting under resource management.

Piece by piece, the National government is rewriting laws that have built our environment. The Crown Minerals Bill completes another piece of the picture - it shows why promises made were false - but that Bill is only an example of the government’s wider work.

Mr Brownlee may have dug a big hole for the mining industry, by eyeing up Schedule 4. Conservationists' price: a better Schedule, and a higher test for mining access rights

Mr Brownlee says he now has a mining “mandate”. This is another example of political misjudgement. He thinks the Schedule 4 debate is finished. Environmentalists have hardly started.

Gerry Brownlee, in his haste to scrape the bottom of the oil barrel, is showing some disregard for Maori that is not mana-enhancing

“Our prime purpose is with regard to petroleum. I think some people are interested,” said Rt Hon Keith Holyoake, in 1965, introducing the Continental Shelf Act.

For Gerry Brownlee (with apologies to A A Milne, the dormouse, the doctor, and Bad Sir Brian)

There once was a Kiwi who lived in a park.
He slept through each day, and he sang in the dark
All night long of the simple things that he knew:
Lore ancient and true.