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Labour Bullies Greens on Schedule 4

"What a difference two years makes" as Farah Hancock says in today's Newsroom.

Here is Labour's 2017 platform on the extension of the Schedule 4 boundary south of the Kopu-Hikuai Road - a measure dear to the hearts of Coromandel Greens, and one that was taken for granted in the Coalition Agreement:

“Labour will: Amend Schedule 4 to add ecological areas and world heritage sites to the generic protected categories, and to extend southwards the described area of the Coromandel.”

A footnote defines this as: “This would add to the Schedule 4, item 12 description of the Coromandel Peninsula all the conservation land south of the Kopu-Hikuai Road to the southern boundary of the Te Aroha Ecological District.”

Seems pretty clear doesn't it?

Well actions speak louder than words, and according to the Greens Gareth Hughes, Labour have effectively reneged, and are using the failure to finalise the Hauraki Settlement as the excuse for inaction on the extension of Schedule 4 as proposed in the Platform.

The following statement from Minister for Energy Megan Woods appears to 'muddy the waters,' and will barely satisfy the suspicions of local Greenies that long-standing Labour policy is being twisted to possibly favour the aspirations of the mining industry:

"Expanding Schedule 4 in these areas was 2017 policy. However the Government is currently working through the much broader policy of no new mines on conservation land, as outlined in the Speech from the Throne."

The Settlement was and is being used to justify all manner of  delay in decision making, and I suspect that certain Collective members will be feeing aggrieved that they are now being 'scape-goated' in this process. Indications are that they simply want to get their hands on the 'levers' without delay - they have certainly waited long enough, and if the councils and Government still have not got the details worked out, you have to call into question the sincerity of those involved.

For Heavens sake, let's get on with it, and stop the prevarication. I tend to stand with Gareth Hughes on this one. The longer it goes on, the more division will occur on what is already a very divided Peninsula, and surely acquiring the acquiescence of the Collective in fulfilling theclear Election promise should not be beyond the wit of our renowned Wellington bureaucracy.




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