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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume 39, Number 24, September 27, 1976.

Nats Support Mining Scheme

Nats Support Mining Scheme

The National Government of the day, though tut-tutting the extent of foreign control, actively supported the scheme in its embryo form.

It was left to the Labour Government in 1974 to accede to the scheme as proposed, and in that year they commissioned a commercial viability survey, an environmental impact report, and investigations into the involvement of New Zealand Steel.

It was this last aspect, and the demands by Labour that Government take up more than 50% of the total shareholding, that put the damper on Carpentaria's participation. The anticipated quick profit was placed in a position of dependence upon their subordination to New Zealand interests - a bane to any powerful multi-national - so they pulled out.

Thus Labour, in spite of itself, stopped a mass, foreign controlled, commercial venture succeeding in Mount Aspiring National Park - but it has set a dangerous precedent for future mining agreements.

Ever since the proposals of 1974 an enlightened conservation pressure group has acted very efficiently in reinforcing the principles of the National Parks Act.

It would appear however that Consolidated Silver has found powerful allies in Government, for despite a clear statement from Minister of Lands, Venn Young, in August that Consolidated Silver would not receive the right to mine in Fiordland, Muldoon's statement is a doubletake.