The announcement from Brownlee and Conservation Minister Kate Wilkinson represents a major defeat for Brownlee, who first floated the proposals last September, initially encountering only muted opposition.They will have their revenge. Aero-magnetic surveys will be conducted. Minerals will be found and extracted. You have been warned.
However, the leak in March of proposals that included mining on Great Barrier Island and Coromandel Peninsula spelt their death-knell.
Brownlee announced instead that the government would now pursue aero-magnetic surveys of mineral potential in Northland and the South Island West Coast, both areas where communities and local councils are believed to favour the extractive industry developments.
It is at times like this that I regret not having more knowledge of the Fantasy genre. I am sure there must be many a saga in which an enormous, hideous creature seeks control of mineral resources. If you, gentle reader, know of one such creature, do tell.