Mining Lobby Says Most Kiwis Support Mining

Posted by Gold FM on 13/10/2012

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Chris Baker, the head of the minerals lobby group Straterra claims that most New Zealanders support responsible exploration and mining for minerals. He said a vocal and persistent minority would disagree but according to a recent national poll 70 - 80% showed support for the mining of ignite and gold. 

The poll found 81% believed it was "very important or quite important" to develop New Zealand's natural resources for prosperity, while 77% were "very concerned or quite concerned" about New Zealand's standard of living, Mr. Baker said.

The results of the poll surprised the Straterra CEO who said "the perception is that there is a lot of opposition in New Zealand to mining".

We're unsure who commissioned the poll but according to Straterra 1000 people took part nationally.

Straterra works closely with the petroleum sector, has links to the geothermal industry and believe credibility is central to building and maintaining a reputation in New Zealand, especially in light of high public awareness of and interest in resource sector issues in New Zealand. Engaging with communities, Maori, and other stakeholders, such as environmental non-governmental organisations, is an essential part of obtaining a social licence to operate in New Zealand they say on their website.

Misinformation extolled by a minority opposed to all resource development in this country is worth rebutting according to the lobby group.

Expect to start seeing more about the mining industry in the public arena as Straterra is said to be about to 'grow' it's communications team in Wellington. A briefing with politicians has been organised next week and the lobby group is keen to push ahead with education programmes for the New Zealand public.

Straterra lauched itself in 2008 at the annual conference of the NZ branch of the Australian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, becoming an incorporated society. Their mantra is that they offer a collective voice for the NZ minerals and mining sector, from small firms to large enterprises.Their office is in Wellington and according to their 'about us' they have three full time staff.

Newmont Waihi Gold's Operations Manager Glen Grindlay is on the board of Straterra along with other gold and metallic minerals specialists. Coal, aggregates, industrial minerals, exploration, technical services and research within the mining industry are also represented on the board.