I have much sympathy for the West Coast who yet again have been made the victims of their surroundings.
No mining allowed.
The call from the government was not surprising but it was nevertheless wrong.
No, mining is not everyone's cup of tea. But the simple reality is the world needs fossil fuels and mining is part of the West Coast economy.
The fundamental error the government made was to put ferns before people, snails before work.
People and work are more important than animals and in general, land.
Yes, all countries need special places, protected areas, and land of natural significance.
But the balance has tipped hopelessly against humans.
To suggest this country with its hundreds of thousands of hectares of pristine land locked up, isn't enough and we need more, is to fail to understand the fundamental premise of a society and its ability to function.
This government so far has beaten up on farmers, wanted a water tax, wants cow numbers capped, banned oil exploration, whacked taxes up, and has seen confidence plummet with workplace reform still to come, that will only make that confidence vanish further.
You can't just keep beating people up and saying no and banning things without coming up with alternatives.
What does the West Coast do?
Sixty jobs at the mine not allowed, fine. So what's Eugenie Sage's alternative?
She doesn’t have one, they never have one. James Shaw's Zero Emission papers released the other day openly admits the economy will slow and incomes will slow with them.
You can't run a country that goes backwards.
You can't govern over regions that aren't allowed to make a living.
Somewhere in the mix needs to be some common sense. Snail and ferns aren't that important.
And even if you begin to argue they are, they're certainly not more important than work and income and a living and regional progress
You can't escape the sneaking suspicion that the Greens' hatred of mining and fossil fuels is so great they'd be happy to see a region like theCoast go bust, rather than see it continue to have mining as part of the mix.
The Greens are so blinded by the vision of wind turbines, solar panels and compost bins, they refuse to accept the simple truth and reality that people still need to go to work.
When and if, and it’s a fantastically big if, but if the days come and we are running cars, industry and the workforce off sunshine then that will be brilliant.
But until then we need oil and petrol, and coal and we need to dig and drill holes to get it.
And that in part is what the West Coast does.
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