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Federated Mountain Clubs of New Zealand

Media release – 20 July 2010

*Federated Mountain Clubs of New Zealand*

*Government decision on mining welcomed by trampers and climbers* The Federated Mountain Clubs of New Zealand is delighted that the government has decided that the land in Schedule 4 of the Crown Minerals Act deserves the protection that was afforded it by a previous Parliament.

“This is a momentous decision. On behalf of the 15,000 members of Federated Mountain Clubs I welcome the confirmation of the protection from mining for NZ's internationally renowned National Parks” said Richard Davies, President of the Federated Mountain Clubs of New Zealand. “The government has recognised that National Parks are the birthright of all New Zealanders. It is important that the government has respected the National Parks Act which enshrines protection for these areas for recreation and conservation in perpetuity” added Mr Davies.

“Schedule 4 protects some of our most distinctive and special conservation land, and should never have been considered for this kind of exploitation. However, the government, and the Conservation Minister Hon Kate Wilkinson in particular, need a lot of credit for listening to the people who really care about these places and spend time enjoying them, and contributing to their protection” said Mr Davies.

Despite this decision, the Federated Mountain Clubs remain concerned that this government doesn’t appreciate the significance of the conservation estate that it is caring for at present.

“In no way can the public submissions be construed as giving a mandate to the mining industry to plunder other conservation land” said Mr Davies.

“With this kind of rhetoric by Mr Brownlee, the decision to give the Minister of Energy and Resources the right to approve access to conservation land looks like a reckless decision with far reaching consequences for the places that hundreds of thousands of people love to recreate in” said Mr Davies.

“These special places like our Forest and Conservation parks are protected because of the recreational opportunities and the eco-system services, such as clean water, that they provide; the Conservation Minister is well placed to evaluate what economic impact is compatible with these values. The Energy Minister isn’t” said Mr Davies.

“The government seems to have realised that our international reputation was at risk” said Mr Davies, “I hope that both Ministers realise that some of our non-Schedule 4 land is just as beloved by New Zealander’s and international visitors for tramping, climbing, paddling, cycling and hunting and is also too precious to mine.”

Mr Davies added that “the Federated Mountain Clubs look forward to the opportunity to submit further at the Select Committee stage.”


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