A poetic response to mining our national parks

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.

Gerry Brownlee came hurrying by, unimpressed:
“Tut tut, I am sorry to find you depressed!
Just say ‘Energy!’ while I look at your chest …
Don’t you think the economy’s had a long enough rest?”

The Kiwi looked round at the view and replied
(When he’d said “Energy!”) that he’d tried and he’d tried,
But the only industrious things that he knew
Were “100% pure,” and tourism too.

Gerry Brownlee stood frowning and shaking his head.
“I don’t understand it,” he said,
“What industry needs is a mine!” and he flew
To see some Australian coal-diggers he knew.

The shy Kiwi lay low, and blinked at the sight
Of snowy mountains flushed with dawn light.
He knew there was nothing he wanted but peace;
He wished Brownlee’s nonsense would cease.

Within minutes, it seemed, Gerry Brownlee was back
Waving schedule 4 of the Crown Minerals Act.
“Now this,” he remarked, “covers millions of acres
And dollars worth billions - any takers?”

So they took out their spades, and they dug up the park
Until the rivers ran dark.
They found nickel, zinc, lead, tungsten and tin:
Enough to make an Australian grin.

Gerry Brownlee next morning stands rubbing his hands
And saying, “There’s nobody quite understands
These cases as I do! The cure has begun!
How precious metals shine in the sun!”

He waves away smog, crying “Economic kick start!”
Then, to show he’s resourceful and smart,
Dons a helmet and says “Future’s bright - see the light?”
While he polishes his glasses (a cure for short sight).

“Tut!” he says “It’s another attack
Of hysteria. Greens lack
Eco-logic - don’t they know coal’s organic?
Take my word: there’s no need to panic!”

* * * * *

Gerry Brownlee had a battleaxe with great big knobs on;
He went among the kauri and blipped them on the head.
On Wednesday and Saturday, but mostly on the latter day,
He visited the national parks and this is what he said:
These have no roads - they’re no use!
You can have cake and eat it (ker-ching!)
I only want a little bit
And I’ll damn well take it! (gimme some gold for a ring!)

Tim Groser had a pair of boots with great big spurs on,
A hiking pair of which he was particularly fond,
On Tuesday and on Friday, just to make the parks look tidy,
He’d make friends with the natives, and then kick them in the pond.
Conservation? (sper-lash!)
We need to grow up (sper-losh!)
Gerry Brownlee says clean green productive pasture
Is a smarter way to earn dosh.

Gerry Brownlee woke one Saturday and he couldn’t find his energy;
He walked into the forest and the resources were all gone.
He had gone a hundred paces when the street was full of faces
And the voters were around him looking woebegone.

Brownlee went on a journey, and he found a harsher climate:
They did what they should have long ago, and blipped him on the head.
They took him by the breeches and they hurled him into mineshafts
(There were a lot of voters, and the shafts were big ones.) And this is what they said:
A “stock take” makes sense (you’re for sale)
Public consultation? (yeah right!)
Let us shout you an ale
It’s the only Tui in sight.

John Key lost his mojo; he chopped up Brownlee’s battleaxe,
He took Tim Groser’s hiking boots and threw them in the fire.
He’s a different sheepish person now things are going badly,
And he goes about the country as Prime Minister, for hire.
I, a denier? Oh no!
I am John Key? Who’s he?
I haven’t much conviction, but I’m in charge of tourism,
So I wouldn’t do anything silly …