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West Coast Mine Proposal Shows Need for DoC Review

West Coast Mine Proposal Shows Need for DoC Review

Monday 21st May 2001 Gerry Eckhoff Media Release -- Environment

The Government must urgently conduct a total review of the Department of Conservation's role, ACT Conservation Spokesman MP Gerry Eckhoff said today.

"The proposal for a gold mine on DoC land on the West Coast highlights yet again the conundrum forced on the Department," Gerry Eckhoff said.

"DoC must advocate for conservation as required under the Conservation Act, yet are also charged with managing the environment, which requires active management such as the issuing of concessions on the Conservation Estate.

"Add in the fundamentalist attitude of the Minister of Conservation Sandra Lee, and it comes as no surprise that DoC is the major stumbling block in regional development.

"The Department controls one-third of New Zealand, and has the ability to lock up New Zealand's natural capital.

"The Whitianga Waterways development, the Gondola project in Queenstown, and the gold mining proposal on the West Coast all offer growth and long-term employment. New Zealand cannot afford Sandra Lee's attitudinal problems toward development. These examples are just the tip of the iceberg - there is a long list of major projects being held up.

"The Conservation Act and the RMA must be totally reviewed in order to allow for sustainable development without political interference by preservationists," Gerry Eckhoff said today.

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.

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