Pureora Too Precious To Mine
In two days Simon Bridges, Minister of Energy and Resources, will announce the decisions on areas where the government will grant permits for mining exploration. One possible area is the Pureora Forest Park where conservationists fought hard in the late 70’s to preserve this rare example of ancient North Island lowland forest. The success of this campaign inspired the foundation of the Native Forest Restoration Trust with the goal of protecting as much remaining forest as possible.
Conservation Minister Nick Smith insists that permits are only for preliminary exploration and will not necessarily result in mining activity taking place. However Pureora Forest is not protected under Schedule 4 and if significant mineral deposits were to be discovered it is likely that the government would consider trading off conservation values for economic development. The majority of the ancient totara trees in New Zealand are found in the Pureora Forest. It is also home to the endangered kokako.
On May 9, Simon Bridges will announce the permits he has granted. The Trust urges supporters to make their opinions known to both Simon Bridges and Nick Smith here. These ancient trees which have spent centuries growing should not be sacrificed for short term jobs and economic gains for a few.