Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: The back of a bloody envelope

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  • Russell Brown,

    I'm impressed by the way people have already started using public data to visualise the mining proposals -- filling the information gap from the government.

    Here's a good example: a comparison of the area to be investigated for mining on Barrier with some geography Aucklanders will already know.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18969 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Mason,

    I predict a response from the conservation community on a par with Manapouri.

    One could say the Keep NZ Green war has been waiting for the first skirmish from the Nats and the mining list is it. The acknowledged "more to come" will feed the fire.

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1497 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18969 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    They're prey to the same myths and unreasonable expectations about their presidency – seeming to want a movie western star when they elected a centrist wonk – as their wingnut opponents.

    Well, yes... Obama is no more going to blanket the Earth in mint-scented unicorn farts that he's going to bite off Trig Palin's head live in prime time. Still, if "aloof" is now pundit-speak for "behaves like a sober, mentally stable grown-up who isn't a bong-load away from a psychotic meltdown" I'd like to see a lot more politicians having what Barry's having. Please.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12034 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Still, if "aloof" is now pundit-speak for "behaves like a sober, mentally stable grown-up who isn't a bong-load away from a psychotic meltdown"

    Heh. Nicely put.

    The same people also bitched about why he wasn't fighting hard enough for reform. If he'd hit the trail when they'd wanted him to, he'd have had nothing left for when they actually had a bill to deliver.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18969 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    I recommend Idiot/Savant's brief piece on the actual mining economics from Statistics NZ.

    even if we take the maximum values for each, we're still looking at $6.5 billion - around 20 times lower than the government suggests.

    Has anyone modelled tourism and trade impacts yet?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16771 posts Report Reply

  • Fooman,

    One thing that made me swear at Banks on the radio this morning was him describing Great Barrier as a pristine, unspoiled gem in the Hauraki gulf. Never mind that it was deforested, along with 99% of the kauri forests of Auckland and Northland, in the wood rush of the late 19th and early 20th century. Most of the existing forest is regenerating bush. Nice to have no mining on, but certainly not unspoiled and pristine. Ignorant goblin.

    Lower Hutt • Since Dec 2009 • 87 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    a comparison of the area to be investigated for mining on Barrier with some geography Aucklanders will already know.

    You can choose from a few cities for comparison at scale. Nice work.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16771 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    NBR has a good story from the New Zealand Minerals Association:

    The whole thing's pretty useless without a national technical survey.

    Like I said, process.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18969 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    The same people also bitched about why he wasn't fighting hard enough for reform. If he'd hit the trail when they'd wanted him to, he'd have had nothing left for when they actually had a bill to deliver.

    Certainly, and I wonder why the hell Obama is supposed to do Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid's job as well. He's the President, not his party's Congressional leadership -- as someone put it: On Capitol Hill, collectively, the Democrats don't have a spine, the Republicans don't have a brain (they might have actually won some serious concession if "fuck off" wasn't their default setting). The Democrats win on points - just.

    I know the analogy isn't a precise one, but even I had to give Helen Clark credit for turning a rather fractious, damaged party into a ferociously disciplined electorally credible force that stopped dirtying its linen in public. Perhaps Rep. Pelosi could organise an off the record lunch date in Turtle Bay and get some hints...

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12034 posts Report Reply

  • octopusgrrl,

    I wonder when Banks last visited Great Barrier?

    I've had to bite my tongue a few times over the last day or so when my left-wing friends have been bitching and moaning about how Obama "failed" them for compromising on the abortion funding. He came to office with such high expectations that no human being, let alone politician, could meet them all. Politics is the art of the possible, after all.

    Dunedin • Since May 2009 • 30 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    Here's a good example: a comparison of the area to be investigated for mining on Barrier with some geography Aucklanders will already know.

    Golly, that's a BIG postcard!

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 5060 posts Report Reply

  • Andre Alessi,

    As usual, Ezra Klein has |a great, simple post on who will remain uninsured after the reforms are put into practice.

    The partisan divide we are currently witnessing is just another manifestation of the cultural conflicts that have been part of America's history since its inception, generally being based on some version of the fundamental North/South divide.

    I don't know that seeing this stuff as a continuation of fundamental tribal divisions within America makes much sense anymore. Certainly there's an element of "My side has always hated X so I can never support it!" but what we're seeing is more complicated than that in so many ways. American's electoral system and relatively low poll turnouts make incumbency an impossible hill to climb unless you whip your supporters into such a frenzy that they believe not voting for the new guy is tantamount to selling their children into eternal slavery. That's why everything is a life or death issue, why bipartisan compromise isn't all that common, and why people who don't pay much attention to American politics think that "universal health care"is somehow equivalent to fascism/communism.

    The boundaries of the North/South divide haven't been nearly as consistent on the actual issues as recent events would indicate-it wasn't so long ago that the Democratic Party was the dominant force in the South.

    Devonport, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 862 posts Report Reply

  • Stewart,

    Does the Green lobby have a Monkey Wrench Gang plan to thwart the rape & pillage of our protected biosphere?
    If this gets pushed through I can see civil unrest on a scale not seen since the Boks Tour protests of 81.

    Te Ika A Maui - Waitakere… • Since Oct 2008 • 572 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    why bipartisan compromise isn't all that common

    More common than you might think, Andre -- and that was the whole point of a bicameral legislature separate from the executive branch. Wasn't it?

    The problem is that it seems the current Tea Bagged iteration of the GOP played chicken - and lost. FFS, as I understand it the bill passed with over a hundred GOP amendments and NOT ONE Republican vote. Well, you can go out and claim the evil Democrats are tin-eared fascists who don't listen, but let's write a reality check. How many times do you expect to say "fuck off" before people take what you say at face value?

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12034 posts Report Reply

  • Euan Mason,

    An important principle is at stake here. Should the market and money solely determine our future, or are there other worthy considerations? Are we just concerned with a "brand" or do we really care about our indigenous biodiversity? Brownlee pathetically talks about, "a postcard on Eden Park", but how many other postcards would go under using the same reasoning if we accept this travesty? Those areas are in schedule 4 for good reasons, so tell us, Mr Brownlee, what in those areas has changed that would cause us to remove them from the schedule?

    Canterbury • Since Jul 2008 • 192 posts Report Reply

  • anth,

    Since Nov 2006 • 77 posts Report Reply

  • Don Christie,

    when resentment of Wellington's intentions towards us is already simmering

    Look, I am quite happy to for Aucklanders to be deprived of the right to vote if it helps make that statement a reality. But until that happy day can I just say that most of the insane ideas politicians have thrown up since MMP have been very representative of the population north of the Bombay Hills.

    The "intentions" are all in your court, Auckland. Sort it out.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1616 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Brownlee pathetically talks about, "a postcard on Eden Park", but how many other postcards would go under using the same reasoning if we accept this travesty?

    As someone else has probably pointed out, a postcard-sized hole on a good length would be bloody disastrous.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18969 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    More Idiot/Savant goodness about preventing mining.

    When an interviewer pointed out to Gerry Brownlee that mining on Great Barrier Island - one of the areas he wants to open - is prohibited by the district plan, he suggested that anyone can get a plan change. But this cuts both ways - if mining companies can apply to have that prohibition removed, environmentalists can apply to have similar prohibitions enacted by the Thames-Coromandel, Buller, and Southland District Councils.

    And with local body elections due later this year, I think making such a proposal would be a wonderful way of focusing the mind of candidates and councillors on the political cost to them of permitting schedule 4 land to be despoiled. It may also create space for anti-mining candidates to be elected to those bodies, in the same way that concern over water use in Canterbury saw a number of environmentalist candidates elected to ECan last election.

    In the long run, though, the only way to assure the safety of these areas is to change the government. And Brownlee has just given a lot of people a strong reason to do just that.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16771 posts Report Reply

  • Jock Hopeful,

    Rod Oram gave his view on Nine to Noon a little earlier.

    Few good points made.

    On the downside:
    - only 5% of revenue generated from mining projects will be paid to Government; the rest goes offshore after tax

    - Mining companies minimise tax paid to Government by selling what they source at low cost to sister companies based in other countries; while the IRD does monitor this sort of thing they can do little to prevent the practice entirely

    - Government is unlikely to ring fence the income generated from mining which will ultimately lead to massive long term budget blowouts; UK is good example of how short term thinking on additional income generated from such projects leads to significant long terms woes

    - While the Government and interested parties continue to talk about outrageously high estimates of how much MIGHT be down there, no one has a clue how much of this could actually be extracted.

    He didn't really have a lot of positives outside the obvious ones...

    Central Auckland • Since Jan 2010 • 14 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    environmentalists can apply to have similar prohibitions enacted

    Who's picking a Ministerial call-in of resource consents on grounds of strategic national importance or whatever it's called?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16771 posts Report Reply

  • Jock Hopeful,

    Oh...and Nikki Kaye has ppublicly spoken out about her objections regarding mining on Great Barrier Island.

    Other National MP's in key areas - Coromandel and West Coast - haven't yet spoken openly but are likely to shortly I'd say...

    Central Auckland • Since Jan 2010 • 14 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    Golly, that's a BIG postcard!

    Seconded!

    The proposed mining zone, has places within, sullied by toxic mining tailings y'know. But that hasn't completely ruined it as a fantastic destination for quiet amateur fossicking expeditions. The Barrier is a relatively predator free environment. Feral cats and rats being the only non domesticated threat to native birds. The regenerated forest actually sounds like regenerated Forrest. That's one of the magic's of Great Barrier island.

    Since Nov 2006 • 2751 posts Report Reply

  • Sam F,

    As someone else has probably pointed out, a postcard-sized hole on a good length would be bloody disastrous.

    Add in a few thin lengths of exposed concrete to represent the access roads, and occasional piles of rubble and dirt a bit further out for players to trip over. Good times!

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1563 posts Report Reply

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