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NZ's Leading NGOs Call On PM To Keep 'No New Mines' Promise

New Zealand’s leading environmental organisations have joined forces to call on the Prime Minister to honour her government’s 2017 promise to stop new mines on conservation land.

Forest & Bird Chief Executive Nicola Toki said: “Today, Forest & Bird has joined with New Zealand's leading environmental NGOs to send a message: Prime Minister, it is time to keep your promise to end new mining on public conservation land."

The organisations behind the letter include Forest & Bird, Greenpeace Aotearoa, 350 Aotearoa, Oxfam Aotearoa, Generation Zero, Coal Action Network Aotearoa, Coromandel Watchdog, ECO, the Kea Conservation Trust, Parents for Climate Action, Climate Club NZ, and Protect our Winters.

A copy of the open letter is available here (PDF).

In it, the organisations say "In 2017, one of your first acts as a new Prime Minister was a promise that your government would stop new mines on New Zealand’s public conservation land. But today, that promise remains unfulfilled.

"New coal, gold, and other mining activities have been allowed across over 150,000 hectares of public conservation land and the door remains open for more mining to take place."

The open letter is the latest in a series of actions from Forest & Bird, Greenpeace and others calling on the Government to support the Crown Minerals (Prohibition of Mining) Amendment Bill.

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Over the last few weeks, Forest & Bird has taken the iconic 2010 March Against Mining banner to the Coromandel Peninsula, the Denniston Plateau, and Mount Richmond Forest Park – areas where conservation land is threatened by mining.

Drone footage and images of these actions are available here.

Ms Toki said “Conservation land belongs to all New Zealanders. It’s a place for us all to enjoy, and it’s also home to some of the most unique and precious wildlife found anywhere on earth.

“Aotearoa New Zealand is facing a climate and biodiversity crisis; we cannot stand by and let mining operations destroy these special places. Our conservation lands are the last remaining life rafts for so many astonishing species.

“Mining causes long-term and permanent damage, and as that accumulates, our environment suffers death by a thousand cuts. Conservation land is for people, and for nature. It is not for mining."

In 2010, 40,000 people marched down Queen Street, demanding that conservation land be protected from mining. Our Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, was among them, carrying a Labour Party placard that read ‘Ours. Not Mines’.

In 2017, Prime Minister Ardern promised through theSpeech from the Thronethat there would be no new mines on conservation land.

“Today, that promise remains unfulfilled. Butwith the Green Party's Crown Minerals (Prohibition of Mining) Amendment Bill on the table, Prime Minister Ardern and her cabinet colleagues have an opportunity to show that they’re serious about climate change, and to deliver on this generation’s “nuclear-free moment”. If they are serious, they must support this Bill.” said Ms Toki.

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