The increasing price of gold has, as we know, been prompted to some extent by international financial jitters encouraging savvy investors to buy something that you can't eat or heat your house with. The cost of this may be borne by our own green hills, and Gerry Brownlee wants all DoC managed land assessed for its mineral worth. Given the slow yet inevitable international furore over the "Clean Green wash" that has confused an internationally excellent environment with national commitment to environmental excellence, it may be that some of the DoC land will be easier to protect. However, there's the fascinating phenomenon of "Stewardship Land" - crown land that isn't under DoC protection, merely their management. A savvy administration could explain that this marginal land is of low environmental value, and a drain on the national conservation purse, and, given there's wealth there, its better off dug up...... this overlooks the importance of high value conservation land being buffered by more depleted lands. And it overlooks the impact of intrusive, chemical rich mining practice on - water supplies, river catchments, estuaries, Firths and marine farming. And landscape and tourism ..... and did you know that all those gold rich green hills behind Thames are almost all stewardship land?

Whilst the Coromandel Watchdog is already and again doing a fantastic job at the sharp end of the No to mining movement here on the Peninsula, Transition is about keeping the question alive: "what do we want to see for our communities?".

Against this question, proposals such as the mining suggestion can be assessed - what will this do for [and against] maintaining and enhancing the ecological resilience of the area? how will this contribute to building the well-being of our peoples - and to undermining it? what will its contribution be to improved health standards and quality of life - and how will it negatively impact these? how will this improve employment opportunities and skills at every level of the community - or not?

What are the people you meet and talk with saying about this? What is inspiring them to hold whatever opinion they have? How much are they envisioning a future, and how much are they mainly reacting [or not!] to the present? What needs to be in the newspaper each week? What are the questions we need to keep asking ourselves and each other?

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