The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment says the Government has failed to make the case for allowing more mining on conservation land.
Dr Jan Wright told a forum in Nelson on Tuesday that the Government's plan falls well short of establishing that the value of the minerals justifies the risk to conservation values.
She says she's disturbed that the Government also proposes to dilute the powers of the Conservation Minister on mine approvals.
Pike River Coal chairman John Dow says however that urban myths are growing around the Schedule 4 proposals, including slogans that National Parks are to be mined.
With submissions on the plan closing next week, Mr Dow urged submitters to take a reasoned approach and not be swayed by dramatic slogans.