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$53b in minerals locked up in high country grab

$53b in minerals locked up in high country land grab

The Labour Government’s South Island high country land grab will lock up $53 billion worth of minerals, ACT Rural Affairs spokesman Gerry Eckhoff revealed today.

That figure comes from a Kenex Knowledge Systems report, obtained by Mr Eckhoff under the Official Information Act, which shows billions of dollars worth of copper, nickel, platinum, gold and coal will be untouchable when the land becomes part of the DoC estate under Labour’s tenure revue process.

“This report was harder to unearth than the minerals themselves would be from the earth. The Government has tried to keep the New Zealand public in the dark about this report,” Mr Eckhoff said.

“Why wasn’t the Government jumping up and down about this report with glee and going on about these wonderful resources? This is like finding an oil reserve and hiding it from the public. It’s a scandal”.

A report, prepared by the NZ Institute of Economic Research for the New Zealand Minerals Industry Association in March, estimates that the mineral wealth in the area subject to tenure review would boost New Zealand’s GDP by two percent and create over 25,000 new jobs by 2010.

“The Government has a duty to release this report to the public. The future of the high country should be decided by the people of New Zealand and not by the Labour caucus behind closed doors.

“It obvious that the real reason Labour has suppressed this report is because it wants to kick farmers off the high country so it can turn it into a playground for Prime Minister Helen Clark and her tramping buddies,” Mr Eckhoff said.


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