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Politicians not listening to quarry sector, time for change

Politicians not listening to quarry sector, time for change

July 19 2017
Media Release

The chair of New Zealand’s quarry industry association says the sector does not get the attention it deserves from politicians and he’s backed creating a single organisation for the entire extractive sector to help achieve that.

Brian Roche told today’s AGM of the Aggregate and Quarry Association that quarrying is a big and important industry. “But outside the quarry gates you’d hardly know it. We just don’t get the attention we deserve.”

Mr Roche says one example was the quarry industry’s effort to hold a panel discussion of political leaders at this week’s annual conference in Auckland, with Economic Development spokespeople invited
“We couldn’t get representatives from most of our parties to attend.’’

He noted that this was election year as was 2008 when the then AQA Board commissioned a document called Foundations for our Future.

The document had called for a national strategy on developing aggregate supplies, a formal mechanism for industry liaison with Government, and for national and local government to provide for local aggregate resources in their long-term infrastructure, transport and resource management plans.

‘We have had virtually no or little progress on any of those failings of the last Government since the current Government took office 9 years ago,” says Mr Roche.

“That’s because we simply do not command the interest of the politicians and the public.”

He says that’s in large part due to the extractive sector being fragmented with a range of organisations including the AQA, Straterra, Mining Health and Safety Council and Coal Association representing the sector.

Mr Roche says he is backing the creation of a single extractive sector so long as it serves the quarrying sector as well as mining. He was re-elected at today’s AQA AGM and subsequently re-selected as Board chair. Mr Roche lives in Hamilton and runs a limestone quarry.

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