COMMENT:

Is Eugenie Sage single handedly wrecking our economy? No, she is not. But if we were handing out prizes for making more than your fair share of contribution, the Land Information Minister is your winner.

As one half of the Government's tag team on Overseas Investment Office decisions, her latest venture into economic warfare is to turn down money for gold in Waihi.

Waihi, of course, is famous for mining - it's a small part of the country reliant on that sort of activity. And a part of the region that will miss out on a mining extension that would have provided jobs and income from 2028 to 2036.

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Sage's reasoning is the dangerous part. She cites a Brazilian mudslide, an event a world away, that stands little, if any chance, of happening here. She also cites our values: mining is against our values, namely sustainability.

Sustainability is not a reason not to do business. The concept of sustainability can be applied to jobs, like how sustainable is employment in the Coromandel when businesses pack up and go home?

The irony here, if you've missed the detail, is that the Overseas Investment Office (OIO) cleared the application, despite the rules already being tightened by this Government (who are anti-foreigner and anti-fossil fuels).

So having cleared that hurdle around jobs and advancing our economy, it goes to two ministers, Sage and David Clark as Associate Finance Minister.

Clark clears it. Sage doesn't on her spurious rationale. And because they can't agree, she wins and by her winning, we all lose. And this is not the first time she has done this.

The irony surely can not be lost, that this call is made in the very same week that the confidence levels in this country are at 10-year lows. This is an anti-business Government.

This is a Government so obsessed with hating fossil fuels they've rolled into Taranaki and closed down offshore oil exploration. A quarter of exploration area licences have already been handed back.

A $28 billion dollar project and 3000 jobs. No consultation and when they did finally front up, they promised a $26 million dollar Clean Energy Centre. Their ideology outpaces their reality.

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Now Waihi is losing mining work, and what replaces that? The same work that hasn't been found in Taranaki?

What's their other major calling card? Regional development, the regions have been under resourced, they tell us. So their answer is what? Close more stuff down? And once it's closed down roll Shane Jones into town with piecemeal taxpayer bailouts from the Provincial Growth Fund?

How is this passing for anything close to a coordinated economic policy? And they wonder why the growth rate is shrinking to two per cent.

But back to the OIO, yes foreign money has to enhance a town, an industry, or a project, but equally a government has to be reasonable.

It has to want us to succeed, and it has to be open to expansion and growth, if not welcome it.

And Eugenie Sage isn't, and her overt and irrational excuses are glaring - and we will be paying the price long after she's gone.