The West Coast Region (Te Kaunihera Whakakotahi o Te Tai Poutini)
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10 July 2018
A two-pronged approach to combat the issues facing the West Coast is being proposed as the Government looks to release a consultation document on how a conservation mining ban may be implemented.
Council Chairman Andrew Robb says that while we have the respectful protests illustrating the growing frustration of West Coasters who are expressing this, it is vital that all regional interests come together to put forward a united submission and consistent message.
“We must be seen to be part of the solution, rather than part of the problem, engaging Government in a positive manner to ensure they are making decisions based on sound, robust and rational facts and information.”
Mr Robb said he believed there were options for sustainable mining with sound environmental management.
“Economic and community development can co-exist with conservation goals; and can even support those goals. We need to discuss this so we can work together to present a compelling, fact-based submission on how we see the future of mining on the conservation estate on the West Coast.”
“I believe there is a real danger that we get so caught up in debate amongst ourselves about what to do that we lose the opportunity to truly influence the larger national conversation about the future of the West Coast,” said Andrew Robb.
Mr Robb said that Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters were well aware of the issues facing the West Coast and would be helping to secure opportunities for the future.
“Our local Minister, Damien O’Connor, is also part of this picture, and engaging positively with him will only pay dividends to achieving success.”
“We are entering a new era and we need to adapt for the future,” he said. “If we continue to hold onto our past at all cost we may lose sight of the opportunities waiting for us, failing the very people of our region who we are mandated to support.”