Well you can't beat people power. John Key's government is on the verge of backing down (according to reports in the NZ Herald they will announce this tomorrow and it has been confirmed by NZPA) on the mining issue!

Score it as a huge win for Greenpeace and New Zealanders.

From the NZ Herald:

The Government has scrapped plans to mine conservation land in the face of furious public protest, NZPA has confirmed. Energy Minister Gerry Brownlee will announced the Cabinet's decision tomorrow, after National's MPs have been told about it at a caucus meeting.

The Government had proposed opening up 7000 hectares of conservation land in the Coromandel, Great Barrier Island and Paparoa National Park to prospecting for valuable minerals.

That land is protected from mining under schedule four of the Crown Minerals Act, and more than 30,000 submissions were made on a public consultation document - nearly all of them opposed to changing its status.

About 50,000 people signed a Green Party petition against it, while an estimated 40,000 marched in protest in Auckland.

Mr Brownlee is expected to announce that not only will there be no mining in those areas but all national parks will in future be protected.

He is likely to unveil plans for mining in other, less contentious parts of the country. That could involve Crown-owned land which is not part of the conservation estate.

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