Over 40,000 people turned out today to a march against the Government’s mining plans.
“For 40,000 Kiwis to turn out and be prepared to speak with one voice, must tell the Government something,” said Greenpeace ambassador and anti-mining marcher Robyn Malcolm.
“We, the people of NZ get it; we get the argument, we see what you’re up to and we won’t have it. Our land will always be more important to our identity than some extra dollars in the pockets of mining companies.”
“This is one of the biggest turnouts of New Zealanders I’ve ever seen,” said
Greenpeace Executive Director Bunny McDiarmid.
“People have made it very clear today that they are not happy with the direction this Government is taking us.
“The mining proposals are like something from another age. Mining pristine conservation lands is exactly the backwards thinking that must change if New Zealand’s to have any chance of prosperity in the future. Today’s march shows that the Government and mining industry are on the backfoot on this one.”
“It’s been incredible to be out here today with so many New Zealanders who believe that mining in our national parks is not okay,” said Forest and Bird’s Nicola Vallance. “Our protected places are part of how we see ourselves as Kiwis – they’re an essential element of our national identity.”
“The Government is eroding public trust but it’s obvious from today’s turnout that people will push back hard to make their voices heard on this issue.”
“This rally shows that people both reject the proposals to mine in these protected areas and that people no longer trust John Key and Gerry Brownlee’s “consultation” process,” said Cath Wallace, Co-chair of the Environment and Conservation Organisations of NZ.
Richard Davies from Federated Mountain Clubs said the march showed people care about our conservation estate, and are proud of New Zealand's outdoor image. “The message to the Government is clear - keep your greedy hands off our precious landscapes."
John Drummond of Coromandel Watchdog: “Hundreds of people came up from the Coromandel to participate in the march. Generations joined together - committed, seasoned campaigners but also waves of enthusiastic young people.”