Mining in protected conservation areas a 'no go'

By Kate Shuttleworth

Consents have been granted to prospect Paparoa National Park. Photo / David Wall
Consents have been granted to prospect Paparoa National Park. Photo / David Wall

Conservation Minister Nick Smith says there will be no mining in the country's most protected conservation areas despite consents being granted to allow companies to prospect there.

Dr Smith told Radio New Zealand's Nine to Noon programme the permits did not mean mining will be carried out.

Eight prospecting consents for protected Schedule Four land have been granted since 2010, when the Government backed down on plans to free up some of it up for mining.

The consents have been granted to prospect and explore for coal and other minerals in Coromandel in the North Island and the Paparoa National Park in the South Island.

Dr Smith said companies prospecting for minerals often need to survey a much broader area than where they plan to mine.

"It's not because they're proposing to mine in that area - Government's very plain that's no go," he told Radio New Zealand.

- APNZ

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