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Nice One Harry, But Talk To Chris Carter

Nice One Harry, But Talk To Chris Carter

Associate Energy Minister Harry Duynhoven is justifiably proud of the fact that mining industry receipts have, for the first time, topped $500 million, ACT New Zealand Energy Spokesman Ken Shirley said today.

"In reality, however, New Zealand is selling itself short and failing to realise the potential of our considerable mineral wealth," Mr Shirley said.

"In 1999, an Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences study identified the potential for 16 metals and 32 deposit types with an estimated value of $86 billion.

"There is $30 billion worth of gold resource in the Hauraki goldfields alone, but ill-informed political activists have closed the door on both mining and prospecting. Around 70 percent of New Zealand's mineral resource lies within the DOC estate. Successive Conservation Ministers have been captured by lobby groups, and blocked access to our mineral wealth for no good environmental reason.

"DOC continues to block access for both the Pike River coal resource, and the Kupe coal field on the West Coast - while state-owned Genesis signs contracts to import 600,000 tons of coal from Indonesia.

"GRD Macraes' Flat gold mine alone earns more revenue for New Zealand than our entire wine industry - yet their proposed expansion in Reefton has been severely curtailed.

"New Zealand is no longer a wealthy country. We cannot maintain first world health and education standards. Lack of resources means that DOC cannot adequately care for the land that it has stewardship over, yet we turn our back on our mineral wealth.

"I urge Mr Duynhoven to lift his sights and look at the potential. His first challenge will be Conservation Minister Chris Carter," Mr Shirley said.

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