Land Information Minister Eugenie Sage has once again gone out against official advice, this time by rejecting the Overseas Investment Office application to purchase land for mining purposes, National’s Energy and Resources Spokesman Jonathan Young says.
“Minister Sage has declined the application for Oceana Gold to purchase 178 hectares of rural land for a new tailings reservoir near Waihi. By doing this she has once again put her ideology above the facts. She has approved almost every application that isn’t mining related.
“Economic Development Minister David Parker disagreed with Ms Sage’s decision, saying that the project would create ‘substantial and identifiable benefits’. This was also supported by the officials who advised her on the decision.
“This follows on from her decision to block Bathhurst Resources from purchasing 20 hectares of land for the Sullivan Mine, once again against advice from her officials. She was criticised then for showing bias against mining.
“This decision needs to be challenged. Oceana Gold has been an exemplary company operating in New Zealand and has brought long-term benefits to the communities they have worked in, by investing hundreds of millions of dollars into those local communities through employment and contracted services.
“To say there are no substantial and identifiable benefits to this land acquisition is to say that this company has not been of benefit to the communities it has operated in, which is far from the truth.
“Eugenie Sage needs to be either an anti-mining campaigner, or an objective and fair Minister of Land Information – she can’t be both.”