Eugenie Sage's use of the Overseas Investment Act to constrain gold mining at Waihi marks a new low in an increasingly bitter, oppose-at-all costs planning environment.

The Green Party minister – against the advice of officials and her coalition colleagues – rejected OceanaGold's bid to buy farm land for a new tailings dam. She saw no economic benefit in extending the life of the mine – and the jobs of its 360 staff - by up to nine years.

But most alarming was her claimed lack of confidence in the Resource Management Act to protect internationally regarded wetlands from