23 Jul 2010

Cabinet papers reveal worry about backlash

4:37 pm on 23 July 2010

A Cabinet paper on the Government's U-turn on plans to allow mining on schedule four conservation land shows it was worried about negative sentiment towards the mining sector.

Almost all submitters, 98%, opposed removing protection for designated areas on Great Barrier Island, the Coromandel Peninsula and the West Coast.

On that basis, the Cabinet paper says, it would not be in the broader interests of the community or the minerals industry to pursue the plan.

It says that public concern over any removal of schedule four land under the Crown Minerals Act - however small - would be damaging to the reputation of the mining sector.

The paper says that could make it more difficult for the minerals industry to grow and play a strong role in the country's future.