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Bridges Doesn’t Build Bridges to West Coast Miners

Rt Hon Winston Peters

New Zealand First Leader

Member of Parliament for Northland
14 JULY 2017

National’s Bridges Doesn’t Build Bridges to West Coast Miners

Far from unlocking the West Coast’s potential, as National claims it will do, New Zealand First can reveal National’s Blue-Green anti-mining agenda that’ll cost the Coast more jobs.

“Coasters should be wary of National Ministers bearing gifts,” says New Zealand First Leader and Member of Parliament for Northland Rt Hon Winston Peters.

“Especially when Simon Bridges is involved, who is all Brylcreem and no socks when it comes to delivery. He claims the government is replacing ‘one of the last one-way bridges on the West Coast.’ Now, where have we heard that one before?

“Since there were 350 one-way bridges in Grey, Buller and Westland Districts just three years ago, either there’s been a massive bridge building or Mr Bridges is pulling a fast one.

“And when Science and Innovation Minister Paul Goldsmith said mining is part of the Coast’s DNA, why did he omit the part where Minister Bridges had ordered a stop to mining permits being issued or renewed on large swathes of the West Coast?

“The truth comes from a 2015 meeting between Minister Bridges and the West Coast Regional Council.

“At that meeting, the council’s chair and CEO were told by Minister Bridges that no permits would be issued or renewed on land blanketed by the West Coast’s World Heritage Area. This includes hundreds of thousands of hectares of non-Schedule 4 conservation land.

“Aside from affecting South Westland’s main source of rock, a rather important road resource, all the permits have economic value to the 30 holders including West Coast iwi.

“It also means National displayed stomach churning hypocrisy by putting the boot into a Labour Bill, which aimed to do what National has practiced for years. National is as supportive of mining as Dr Russel Norman is and Coasters deserve to know the truth.

“It is National’s so-called Minister of Economic Development Simon Bridges, who unilaterally slapped a ‘Blue-Green’ ban in place proving you can trust National Ministers just as far as you can throw them,” says Mr Peters.


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