21 Jul 2010

Govt believes it has support for mining elsewhere

8:18 am on 21 July 2010

The Government believes it has public support to expand mining on conservation land, despite opposition that led to it abandoning plans for mining on land protected by Schedule Four of the Crown Minerals Act.

Prime Minister John Key says the public response has given the Government a mandate to increase mining on unprotected areas.

However, Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment Jan Wright says she does not think that can be deduced from the public's reaction.

She says the public response was not necessarily directed only at land protected under Schedule Four.

Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei says Mr Key will be buying another public fight if he tries to expand mining elsewhere.

She is also worried that Crown Minerals and the Minister of Energy still have too much power.

Ms Turei told Morning Report the power share between the Minister of Conservation and the Minister of Energy and Resources is uneven.

Energy Minister Gerry Brownlee said on Tuesday there will be new surveys in parts of Northland and the West Coast of the South Island.